According to recent studies, there are as many as 26 threats to national security. To a certain extent as most Americans are concerned, our leaders are dealing with overt suspects or threats who are always at the forefront and on the radar. North Korea, Iran, Russia, and other various rogue countries and their leaders who are considered threats to national security are constantly on the radar.
But the biggest threat to national security is not a political standoff or a war to be fought either covertly or from the air or on the ground. In September, Kirstjen Nielson the Homeland Security Secretary said, “Cyber-attacks now exceed the risk of physical attacks. Don’t get me wrong. Terrorists, criminals, and foreign adversaries continue to threaten the physical security of our people. But cyberspace is now the most active battlefield, and the attack surface extends into every single American home.”
What Can Americans Do to Increase National Security?
Every day, go online and check your bank statement. Give a quick look at all of your credit cards at least once a week. This sounds like work, but if the battle is at our door, we have to fight the cyber fight diligently every day. It is our duty as Americans to defend our national security at home.
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A social security number is stolen. Taxes are filed and someone in Eastern Europe has collected an insane refund on your identity before you have even gotten your W2. Our government loses millions every year to this tax fraud. How do we battle this? File as early as possible. Do not wait until April. Guard your social security number. Check your credit report every month.
Try not to apply for every store credit card that comes your way. Every time your social security card goes into an application, your number goes into the web again risking your identity.
Cyber Attacks May Turn Physical
A leading facilitator of high-profile exercises warns that while we will continue to see cyber-attacks and terrorist activity could take a more deadly turn.
“Yes, cyber-attacks are all the rage and certainly pose threats to our economy and our infrastructure, but the pattern of terror-style use of weapons as crude as trucks and as sophisticated as nerve agents suggests a more likely trend in the year ahead,” he said.
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“I am certain that websites will get hacked and credit card numbers (were) stolen, but I am afraid that the tragic headlines could belong to the lethal physical attacks, delivered in unexpected ways against unsuspecting soft targets, particularly in small- and medium-sized cities,” he added. “Digital is disruptive, but coordinated attacks, releases of toxic materials, and the employment of vehicles as weapons or delivery platforms could be the story in 2019.”
Just recently, Facebook and Instagram had a glitch with participants not being able to load pictures onto their walls. And, the Facebook fans could not see the pics as well. There were outrage and frustration. By noon Facebook came out with a statement on Twitter, no less, about the problem. And, all the news stations followed suit. Of course, the glitch was soon fixed. Can you even fathom what would happen if we would lose our entire internet connection even for a few hours?
As Americans, we need to stay aware. Not paranoid, but aware. Our security is threatened when we do not pay attention to what we are doing. Our security is threatened when we do not pay attention to our affairs on the internet. This is a battle we can help fight and we can help win.