When content security comes up in casual conversation, the primary candidates discussed are software-based. The top three names that come to mind have all advertised on prime-time television where they state unequivocally that hackers are out to get you and only they can protect you, for a modest fee. If you start to feel a little blackmailed, that’s fair, because as soon as you let your subscription lapse, you end up with a virus. I’m not saying that the virus was planted there as a time bomb by the manufacturer to encourage renewals, but that’s the sort of conspiracy-theory that rattles around in my head at two in the morning.

The average home computer user with a bland internet history probably won’t be specifically targeted, because they aren’t important at all. Is it likely there is a black-opps team waiting until you leave for work so they can descend from the ventilation system and retrieve your password, thus giving them total access to your documents, including the letter to your ex you never intended to send, because national security depends on it? Sorry, but not everyone is the same, and the general public isn’t interested in your emails, regardless of how many you may or may not have deleted. Breathe easy—you’re not special.

Unless you are.

Ok, everyone is special. We all have unique gifts to offer the world and everyone means the world to someone. Hugs all around. But perhaps you are special in the more conventional sense, not necessarily at the height of celebrity, but in the spotlight in your field. If you have a scientific discovery to protect or you’re working on creative content that you don’t want copied, you are special. This is an important distinction, and it requires some honest introspection.

It also requires more than software that annoyingly prevents you from downloading anything without clicking that you are sure twenty seven times. For a modest fee.

If you are special and you have a team helping you be special, then you need actual hardware. It’s a firewall, which is an actual physical thing in addition to software. While direct-wire is always more secure than wireless, it’s even possible to set up a firewall that protects those signed on to use the WiFi. Wireless or not, the user accesses the world through this box, which plugs into the unfiltered Internet and acts as a bouncer. The bad stuff never makes it to the user, so no one can mistakenly click on that embarrassing ad that was actually virus-bait. Trying to retrain and enforce Internet safety practices is part of the process, but so is assuming that someone isn’t listening, and it only takes one.

My not-important keester is happily enjoying a second cup of coffee, safe in my assumption that no one really cares what’s on my hard drive and no one is coming to get me. Besides, the tin-foil kinda pulled my hair. But I’m also comfortable knowing that my clients, who are special, are protected. If you’re like me, a toast to peaceful anonymity. If you are special, please let us help you stay safe...without having to click that you’re sure twenty seven times.

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