The recent increase in cyber-attacks brings to mind Biblical principles expressed to the Corinthians. If your online data were hacked, what would be found?
[Darris McNeely] Cyber attacks are once again creating a great deal of concern. Ransomware and a wave of computers being turned on, locked up – you have to deposit bitcoins into accounts to get things unlocked. It’s a continual situation. Someone was just telling me about a local hospital that was attacked and certainly the ramifications of that with patient care can be devastating.
Cyber attacks, hacking of emails, information release, revelations of all sorts, and even industries and businesses shut down or held ransom. A big problem. What’s the solution? I don’t know that there is a solution. I certainly hope that you have not been hacked, that you’ve not suffered anything like this, but the way computers are designed today and software, and the technology that is there, and the very inherent design – frankly, we’re in for more. It will always be with us with a particular architecture that we have within our software and our hardware, certainly.
What can you do? Make sure you’ve got some virus software, if that’s important to you, keep your operating systems up-to-date so that security measures that the manufacturers built in are there, as well. But you know, when it comes down to it, what you and I put into our computers and send or store is ultimately our responsibility. Certainly, don’t open an email that you don’t know, does not come from a trusted source. Be careful out on certain sites on the internet, as well. There’s a lot of things that we can do. Frankly, it boils down to you and I being very, very careful in the use of the technology that we have available to us – a smartphone, a tablet – my tablet’s right here – and our computers.
But you know, at the end of the day it comes down to what we put in and how we manage that and make very careful – be very careful, very certain – that what we put down is something that we are not going to be ashamed of, don’t have to answer for it later on, should it ever be revealed.
There’s a scripture that I was thinking about as I was looking at the headlines of the latest cyber attacks and ransomware and all that is going on – it says – it’s in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and beginning in verse 12. It says, “If anyone builds on this foundation” – it’s speaking about our spiritual foundation and God and Jesus Christ, “if we build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become clear.” What we do and what we, in a sense, enter into our technology will one day be, in a sense, revealed. The scripture goes on, “For the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” Paul here is talking about spiritual character, and it will always be tested and it ultimately – our true nature, true character and courage will be revealed. “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward” (1 Corinthians 3:12-14).
Here’s the thought: when it comes to our technology – emails, matters in what we put into our digital world or store in the cloud – be ready to give an answer. Make sure that what you put down is something that you can back up. And if it’s something super secret, if it’s something super sensitive, something that you, in a sense, want to keep only to yourself, well then, the old-fashioned pencil or pen and paper and a notebook might be ultimately the safest in order to preserve what it is that we want to put down and to keep as information and/or a memory.
But whatever we put down, tested against the word of God, tested against a standard of godliness, so that if it is ever revealed – and certainly God knows – we will be able to give a right answer and not be ashamed.
Cyber attacks are a real thing, but let’s make sure that what we are putting in is something that we are very careful about.
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