Maybe that depends on us.

A “hacktivist” relates:

Let me make something clear, because even some geeks don’t get this: it doesn’t matter how good your encryption is if your attacker can just read your data off the screen with you, and I promise they can. They may or may not know how to yet, but they can. There are a hundred libpurples on your computer: little pieces of software written on a budget with unrealistic deadlines by people who didn’t know or didn’t care about keeping the rest of your system secure.

Any one of these little bugs will do when it comes to taking over everything else on your computer. So we update and update, and maybe that throws any intruders out, and maybe it doesn’t. No one knows!

When we tell you to apply updates we are not telling you to mend your ship. We are telling you to keep bailing before the water gets to your neck.

Okay, cold shower. Computer security is like household security. We need to start by asking what we are trying to protect and why. Are we doing things that cause needless problems?

Figuratively: Leave a patio door wide open, and wake up to find wild animals in the living room, snarling at the cowering cat.

Here’s some advice on how to protect online passwords, always a good start, and how to prevent your computer from being hacked.

Will it necessarily work? No. Nor can security precautions guarantee our houses won’t be broken into.

Acting prudently gives us as much peace of mind as we can realistically have in the world as it is.

Denyse O’Leary is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger.

Denyse O’Leary is an author, journalist, and blogger who has mainly written popular science and social science. Fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan’s description of electronic media as a global village...