Today is a bank holiday in most European countries. I vaguely remember it has something to do with Jesus or one of his relatives, and I am eternally grateful. Because last night and today I spent several hours learning about online security, password managers, encryptions and the likes.
I hate it. I loath it. It’s disgusting. Seriously? Why would a normal shoe-addict-career-obsessed- pressed-for time-mother-of-three need to know anything about browsing history or cyber attacks?
That’s the point. If I want to stream videos and read online news and receive special promotions, book hotels, check in online, order a taxi or keep in touch with friends and be efficient, I need to be online a lot. And I need to share my personal details.
EBAY scandal totally caught me off guard. I read a lot about internet security and possible workarounds. I installed both Dashlane and LastPass and tried them both. I learned that I had one password used over 100 times and a few other ones 50+ times each. I could not believe I was so careless / borderline negligent. Obviously, I changed and encrypted all of the passwords, deleted tens of my former accounts in various places I no longer use and cleaned up all cookies. I had to sort out security settings and privacy features and syncing up 5 different devices. Felt like a hero and a stupid cow at the same time.
Why? Why does it need to be so complicated? Why can’t I just buy a computer and use it and be safe? I don’t want to know anything about online security, honestly, the same way I don’t want to know how to build a nuclear power plant. It’s entirely outside of my life purpose. I am forced (better late than never) to spend hours learning about internet security, because I like to shop online and read online and socialize online. Internet is not safe, that’s why.
It reminds me my doctor’s appointment last week. I came just in time, but the queue was running late and I had to wait for almost an hour for my 10 minute checkup. Buy the way, this is normal in Luxembourg. You are supposed to be a patient (literally). The receptionist did not even bother to apologize, it happens all the time. I asked the doctor why wouldn’t they at least call the patients in advance and ask them to come in later. The doctor suggested it would not make any sense, because the majority of the patients didn’t answer their phones anyway and she didn’t want to waist the receptionist’s time. If it’s really important to me (she advised generously) I should call myself in advance and ask what’s the queue like. It made me speechless.
Last year one of my friends was robbed by strangers while walking her dog in the evening. She was blaming herself afterwards for not being careful and her therapist told her, that it wasn’t not the right reaction. Everyone has the full right to walk their dogs anytime they want and come home safely. I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the reasons I left Russia.
Luxembourg is much safer than Russia. But still you cannot expect websites to take 100% care of their security and you cannot expect the police to take 100% care of the streets.
It’s like Darwinian natural selection being reincarnated. If you want to be modern, efficient, connected, competitive or whatever – you need to stay alert. Lots of others are always trying to take a little advantage. It’s all about survival of the “fittest” – adaptable, vigilant, fast. Maybe it’s all right, maybe it’s good to take a little extra care or learn something new, just because it’s never going to be perfect and you need to be ready to adapt. Or I’m just being cranky.