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Ignorance is Bliss

We all hear about big breaches and our info getting sold, but what can we do to protect ourselves as consumers?

Photo of Melissa Walko
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Written by

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

One little letter means a huge difference in internet security- how many people even know that? And of those who do know it, do we even pay attention? We’re all in such a hurry to find the answer or product we hopped on for, we forget to check. Who’s thriving from our mistakes? I was inspired by my own struggle with this contest. It became evident to me how little the average consumer actually knows about the cyber security. If I continued this concept, I would address the many other "every day" things we do that increases our risks of becoming a victim. The risks that come with logging onto a public wifi, opening emails from people we don't know, or even clicking an ad, are all things we are blind to (and often in too much of a hurry to really think about). And those are the reasons my category of interest was "Digital Privacy and Encryption".

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

Are are aware of what we are sharing? Are we accidentally sharing too much information and falling victim to “trends” that squeeze information out of us? What some of us think are just fun games to pass the time are actually just password riddles for others. And honestly- most of don’t even know it.
 While the ability to retain friendships is getting harder, the ability to "connect" to others is gettin easier. Trends are fun and we all want to fit it in, but if your profile is public you are losing control over who is getting to know us better.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I have been reminded of how little I actually know and understand about the risks I take getting online and how cybersecurity actually effects me. Sure, I know not to share your password with anyone and not to leave an open laptop laying around- that’s common sense. But what I don’t really understand is what people want from me, or how they can get it. It's easy for me to THINK I’m safe- I work from home, on a protected wifi. But its also so easy to forget about the risks I take when connecting to a public wifi in the coffee shop, or even the hardware store! I know I should be protecting myself, but honestly, I don’t know if I even know how. I’m sure I’m not alone. It also became evident that most common, most important things we should fear are actually least represented. Honestly, I don't care WHO I'm fighting against to protect myself (hooded hackers or not), i just need to know what to do to protect myself and how I'm already putting myself at risk.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I’m your average American Millenial chasing a dream and questioning myself every step of the way. I have a full time corporate graphic design job, where I work from home and I’ve grown to love the flexibility and challenges that come along with that. My extra “creative energy” is spent designing stickers, posting them on my Etsy store, and crossing my fingers that I sell a few. I’ve found that the gym is the best hobby someone can gift themself for mental and physical maintenance. What started as a simple excuse to leave the house has turned into quite the hobby. My favorite part is the fact you can track quantitive results and watch yourself get stronger.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

I’ve had minimal exposure about Information Security via a tech conference I do design work for, and I know just enough to make me want to learn more. While I thought I knew more than "most people", this challenge has made me aware that there's so much work to be done in educating the general public. Also, I'm most excited about how "open ended" the descriptions and opportunity for translation are. I was so relieved I had concept options that I could personally relate to.

Website(s) (my personal portfolio site) (my freelance design/photography)

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator freelancer.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

Location: City


Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United States of America


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

Welcome Melissa Walko  Happy to see your contribution to the Cybersecurity challenge. Great concept! How would you consider pushing this idea further? We've had a large number of very interesting creations, have you had a chance to browse other submissions? There's a very interesting conversation around cybersecurity going on!

Photo of Melissa Walko

Hi Dima, thanks for stopping by and checking out my idea.
My marketing background really has me interested in making this into a campaign of awareness that could be shared on Instagram, twitter, and facebook. Those seem to be the most highly trafficked areas and the easiest way to share things.

I actually just got a letter today that my information had been compromised via my mortgage company and I'm left feeling vulnerable and wondering if there's anything I can/could have done. I think my concept could be broken into a few categories:
1. What we can do to protect ourselves (which would need updated regularly based on trends)
2. What to do once we've been told our information has been compromised.

I have browsed some of the other submissions and it's really interesting to see everyone's different backgrounds, their artistic talents, the topics they see as important.