30 years ago, Sir Tim Berners-Lee had a dream, but little did he know that what he was going to invent would revolutionise the way we live our lives. The World Wide Web has become an integral part of society – no matter what your age – and has become the first port of call for everything we do. It’s become a shop, a bank, a communication tool, a voice, a doctor’s, a media outlet, a map, a library, to name but a few. One man’s vision has literally changed everything.
“Suppose all the information stored on computers everywhere were linked. Suppose I could program my computer to create a space in which everything could be linked to everything.”
– Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
The original proposal was simple, a networked “web” of resources using a hypertext mode to share research information more easily. How could Sir Tim could have guessed that his invention, for all his good intentions, would be used for criminal intent? Because, for all the good the Web brings to our lives, it is never far from the news headlines for all its sinister activity. As with anything, the more we rely on it, the more risk it can bring, and whilst we [society] try and work out how to manage the risk of a borderless “world”, criminals are busy at work and staying one step ahead.
Like most crimes in the physical world, they cannot be eradicated but can be prevented. We know not to leave our front doors open when we leave the house, or the car keys in the ignition whilst we pop in the shops, so why wouldn’t we apply the same principles to The Web?
Like many people I rely on the Web for every part of my life, it is easier and fits around my busy schedule. I get annoyed if I get bills through the post, and I stop using services if I can’t manage them online. But I work for a cybersecurity company and know the dangers associated with managing ‘my life’ online. I know every time I sign up to a service, MY personal data is being stored on servers by companies across the globe. And yes, my details have been involved in large data breaches such as the LinkedIn breach of 2012, so I manage that risk accordingly and have a password manager in place to reduce any further risk.
I am grateful of the Web and how easier it makes my life, but I’m concerned people don’t always understand the risks. We talk to businesses daily that are putting steps in place to manage a data breach if one occurs, but as individuals are we doing everything we can to protect ourselves. It can be as simple as not having the same password.
I, for one, am excited to see the developments in the Web over the next 30 years and how we all adapt to technological advances.
Happy birthday World Wide Web!