This summer it seems every day brings dire news of a new data breach perpetrated by shadowy hackers. For those prone to panic, it might be enough to end in a hospital visit. But there's no need to freak out about every single attack reported by a hacker-obsessed media.
Everyone's getting hacked, but we must preserve our limited amount of fear for the security breaches that truly matter, or we risk being flattened into complacency by a constant drumbeat of hacking news. So, to cut through all the noise, here are the only situations in which it is worth freaking out about a hack attack:
If it involves Apple, no matter how small it is
27 usernames and passwords were reportedly stolen from an Apple server this week! Sure, 27 is a ludicrously small number, but what if the hackers gained access to the top secret plans for the iPad 7!?
If it involves a celebrity
Often, celebrity hacks are accompanied by a nude picture scandal (c.f. Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman), and who doesn't love those? Kim Kardashian was just hacked for what must be the 100th time and Amy Winehouse was hacked by rabid fans of the rapper Lil B'. These are all huge stories!
If Anonymous did it
The notorious hacktivist collective Anonymous are super hot right now, and they wear those creepy V for Vendetta masks! Scary!
If it was done by hackers that have nothing to do with Anonymous
Whoa, there are hackers besides Anonymous? They're probably elite Russian cybercriminals or something! Even scary!
If it's not really a hack, but involves Obama
A lot of people reported this week that Obama's campaign website was "hacked" to make it seem like a fake event was being held by "commy Obama". It was actually just someone creating a joke page on the Obama campaign's user-generated site. But, still. Change your password!
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