What is https and why should you care? That’s the topic for today’s post!
HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication, widely used on the Internet. When you enter data into website (i.e name, address, credit card number), the owner of the website has to “send” this information somewhere for processing. HTTP on the other hand is a unsecure protocol for communication.
Let’s use an analogy to illustrate: if an armed guard needs to transfer money from his truck to a bank, he could simply put the money in a paper bag that anyone can open (think HTTP), or he can put the cash in a safe that only the bank has the combination to unlock (think HTTPS).
HTTPS is the protection of exchanged data while in transit. wikipedia
HTTPS is not 100% foolproof because keys/combinations can always be hacked; but, when you see this designation on a website you can be a little more sure protection in is place.
Feel smarter? If you know to look for HTTPS before entering personal data into a website, I’d say you are!
Before we get to who Zo is, let’s talk about the app she resides in, GroupMe.
GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft, similar to What’s App or a simple group chat on your phone; but, only a little more sophisticated with features like creating events or polls. Zo is a social AI (artificial intelligence) chat bot (or robot of sorts) that is automatically added to your contact list by Microsoft.
When added to a group, Zo will have access to your display name, messages, and any other content you and other members of the group share. GroupMe
Did you get that??? It’s a “person” who can read everything that you or others in your group chat post. You can remove this “spy” using the following steps:
- Open the GroupMe app on your phone.
- Click the menu bar at the top left of the app (it looks like 3 horizontal lines)
- Select Contacts.
- Search for “Zo” or scroll down to locate her.
- Click on her name.
- Select Block. The contact should then look like the screenshot below.
Remember, somebody is always watching… 👀👀👀 especially in FREE apps/services!
- DoD: Department of Defense
- Silicon Valley: Tech industry leaders, mostly located in California
- >: Greater than
- ISIL: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, jihadist militant group
Now you can understand the title of this post, DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL? Meaning can a partnership between the tech world and the US government be the key to fighting terrorism? That’s exactly what the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, suggested this week (watch below).
It really is a crazy time in tech and I can’t imagine how the US government can expect this campaign to be successful, without the likes of Apple, who by the way is currently in a fight with the FBI for REFUSING to unlock an iPhone of one of the SanBernardino shooters. Don’t think this is at all inconsequential. As I told you before, it would be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to see what side the other tech companies took in this battle. Facebook, Google, Verizon, Microsoft, Amazon and others ALL support Apple’s position.
U.S. Secretary of Defense on Apple encryption: ‘I’m not a believer in backdoors’
So how can the government on one hand, ask tech to help fight terrorism one way, while at the same time asking these companies to completely ignore the privacy of millions of Americans also in the name of fighting terrorism. Sorry; but, that is not going to fly, so saith and judge in New York.