New York City is giving their citizens free cyber security. Is government control the future of Internet safety, or will it bust? Read to find out.
“New Yorkers aren’t safe online. And we cannot wait around for other levels of government to do something about it or the private sector to do something about it because we will be waiting a long time if we do that.”
According to New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, the Big Apple comes with its share of cyber security threats. That’s why they just announced NYC Secure, a program meant to educate New Yorkers and protect them from malicious cyber activity online.
The program’s announcement follows a slew of cyber attacks on major cities in the US. De Blasio said, “It’s our job in government to make sure that people are safe online. This is a new reality and we are taking the first steps into that reality.”
The program is projected to cost $5 million a year, and offers a variety of protective tools for citizens. The first is an app, which can be downloaded for free by any New Yorker. It alerts users when there is any suspicious malicious activity on the device. Second, a filter service run by Quad9 sifts through user data and web traffic in order to block dangerous sites and potential malware.
The city has also announced plans to “step up security for public Wi-Fi networks so that users tapping into the open internet systems will also be protected from hackers.” With a wide array of public networks available for use, New York is desperately trying to protect themselves from becoming a target for a major cyber attack.
“In order to stay a step ahead of cyber criminals that are continuously finding new ways to hack devices, we must invest in the safety of the digital lives of our residents,” Geoff Brown, the head of New York City Cyber Command, said in a statement. “While no individual is immune to cybersecurity threats, this program will add an extra layer of security to personal devices that often house a huge amount of sensitive data.”
It seems like the city of New York is very ready to help out citizens, but is this really government’s role? Cyber security is necessary for everyone, that’s just the world we now live in. Can you count on a government program to save you from hackers?
This sounds like a great idea: to provide everyone with cyber security tools so they can be more safe online. However, how many people are actually going to download the app? How many people are going to feel a false sense of security if they do, and forego other essential measures, like filtering emails, or educating yourself on phishing tactics or other cyber crimes.
Our advice? If you’re a New Yorker, or your hometown is implementing a similar cyber security program, don’t cancel your other services. It’s likely that you will be less safe if you do. And who doesn’t love free redundancy? Two cyber security services for the price of one means more peace of mind for less.
Take our advice, and no matter where you live, stay safe on the Internet!