Over the last two weeks, America has witnessed the rise and subsequent fall of a cultural icon by the name of Ken Bone. We were introduced to Ken on the night of the second presidential debate between POTUS hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Ken stood up in a white shirt, white tie and red sweater to ask a straightforward question about the energy crisis. Hours later he was a celebrity.
The internet is a powerful thing, both for good and for bad. It turned Ken into a household name overnight. He went to bed one night a normal guy, and the next morning he was a meme, and his attire (along with his mustache and glasses) was turned into a popular Halloween costume.
Days after the debate, hard on the heels of Ken’s rise to fame, he was brought down by the same internet that had made him. After a Reddit “ask me anything” session with fans, ghosts from Ken’s past were dug up by those same adoring fans. Ken used his personal Reddit account, which drew attention to comments from his Reddit past that “weren’t exactly Emily Post,” as Captain Kirk once put it. Ken’s dirty laundry was flung in his face — turns out he’s a bit of a creep — and rather than having to answer for it in front of a handful of close associates, Ken was suddenly on the hook in front of millions of strangers.
As Uncle Ben told a young Peter Parker, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” The internet is a powerful tool, and its use should not be taken lightly. There are a number of ways to get yourself in trouble online, which is why cybersecurity is such a hot topic right now. It’s important to know how to keep yourself, your information and your company’s information safe.
A couple of months ago, Matt Zanderigo posted a list of best cybersecurity practices on the Observe IT blog. Here is what Zanderigo suggests:
- Monitor Applications with Access to Data.
- Create Specific Access Controls.
- Collect Detailed Logs.
- Maintain Security Patches.
- Beware of Social Engineering.
- Educate and Train Your Users.
- Outline Clear Policies for New Employees and Vendors.
- User Activity Monitoring.
- Create a Data Breach Response Plan.
- Maintain Compliance.
It’s likely that very few of us will one day be thrust beneath the glare of the media spotlight. Even so, however, it’s good to bear in mind that almost everything you do online leaves a mark, as Ken Bone learned last week. And whether or not you are faultlessly circumspect in online commenting, don’t underestimate the importance of always making sure that your personal information is secure. Keep good practices, and maintain security.
About the Author — Jake Slater is the social media manager for GoCertify and a graduate of Brigham Young University. Unlike Ken Bone, Jake is not undecided about which candidate to choose.