When you hear the word hacker, what image comes to mind? The idea of hacking and tech-based conflict has been apparent in movies and television since the 1980s and 90s, so it’s no wonder that you may have a distinct picture in your head. As technology has continued to advance in recent years and has inched further and further toward the center of society, the issue of cybersecurity and Internet safety has become a vital one that individuals need to be aware of and understand. But how much does the media truly help us to do so?
Hollywood productions have often faced harsh criticism for the false images they portray of cybersecurity attacks and Internet vulnerabilities. More often than not, situations are dramatized and embellished to make stories more interesting and attract viewership. Producers and directors have argued that without doing so, a successful production would not be possible.
While this makes for great television, it can create a dangerous situation in which the general public is not totally aware of the risks they may be facing on a daily basis. Debate has centered around shows such as Black Mirror and Mr. Robot, both of which portray hacking and tech-based conflict in various ways.
The television show Mr. Robot has actually been praised for the awareness it has brought to Internet safety and technological vulnerabilities. Not only this, but professionals have actually found many depictions of hacking to be realistic and, sometimes, even common. Many individuals and organizations have been captivated by the realism, and have posted videos like the one below to share their findings with the audience of the show.
Of course, not all shows hold the same kind of reputation. The widely popular Black Mirror depicts hacking and Internet vulnerabilities in a more extreme light, sometimes taking a backseat when it comes to maintaining accuracy and fact. The episode The Entire History of You, a trailer of which is below, presents a dark yet far-fetched side of technology when it comes to security and privacy.
Far-fetched or not, technology and cybersecurity are important issues that the media has addressed for years, and continues to address in different ways as society develops. Putting these concepts at the forefront of entertainment ensures that the topics continue to be talked about. As technology progresses and life without it becomes more and more impossible with each day, it is more important than ever to protect ourselves as we use the Internet.