Hands up if you saw the movie Identity Thief ? Jason Bateman stars as an ordinary guy whose life, particularly his entire financial worth, are taken over by a horrid woman played by Melissa McCarthy. I don’t know how it ends because I couldn’t bear watching for more than half an hour.
The movie might have been partly successful if it hadn’t been promoted as a comedy. It is in fact a horror story about the worst nightmares of the digital age.
Then to the real world came the Heartbleed computer bug. Don’t you love these names. In this country, the biggest victim that we know about so far is Canada Revenue, the dreaded tax person. With the filing deadline drawing close, Ottawa was forced to shut down e-filing for almost a week.
The Mounties say 900 Social Insurance numbers were compromised. With a SIN number, you can do just about anything, from opening a bank account to securing one of the best passports in the world. Apparently Heartbleed was operating for weeks before it was noticed and identified, so there are all kinds of dire predictions as to what the longer term consequences might be.
The internet may slow to a crawl, which would affect almost all of us in one way or another. ‘Security certificates’ have had to be replaced in many cases.
It’s particularly frightening for those of us in the 60 plus generation, the Boomers. Most of us were late into the digital game. We have quickly become ‘addicted’ like everyone else, but our basic knowledge of how it all works is not what you call ‘deep’.
I’m grateful to have a nerdy son-in-law who helped me make the dreaded transition to a brand new system, running Windows 7.
He also gave me lots of security, and a terrabyte of memory in my hard drive. Size matters don’t you know, especially when you’re trying to dodge the Heartbleed.
I’m Roger Currie