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Watch Dogs and Internet Security: Fact or Fiction?

Watch Dogs is purely fictional, but what if the hacking in this game were possible in our world?
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

The release of the highly anticipated Watch Dogs is getting closer and people are starting to think more deeply about the hacking aspect of the game. Watch Dogs is essentially about a hacker that’s out to get revenge on the corporation that controls the city’s Central Operating System. What exactly happened in the past is something you’ll have to play the game to find out.

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What happens when this fictional based scenario becomes a reality? According to some, it is closer to the truth than you think.

Nick Cowen wrote an excellent article about Watch Dogs and what it means for internet security. You can view it at The Guardian. Are these concerns valid?

Wake up America, before it’s too late!

I would yes, these are valid. Consider this quote from someone experienced in internet security.

“Pretty much all of those [hacks] would be possible. The timeliness and the convenience of performing them with one click on a smartphone is not there yet. But in some cases it could be.” – Alistair Paterson, CEO of Digital Shadow.

If these hacks are possible, just think about what would happen when more things get connected to the internet. Your whole life could be hacked.

If it connects to the internet, you can hack it. Phones, computer, appliances, and even cars are examples. As we head towards the future, more and more things are using an internet connection. Washers and dryers can be controlled from smart phones. Even pacemakers aren’t safe from a hacker.

If this is true, which I believe it is, we should definitely be wary in the future. I know people hack computers and phones pretty easily, but I never thought about anything connected to the internet as being hackable.

I am the master of my fate.

Watch Dogs is a good example of what the future holds if we aren’t careful. When something goes on the internet, anyone can get that information. You aren’t really in danger until you start to give out highly sensitive information.

Sure, your phone can be hacked at anytime, or your computer–but if you don’t have information such as credit card info or addresses, nothing can really hurt you.

Though it is just a game, this could still happen in real life.

However, should we really be worried in the future as more things get connected to the internet?

I say yes, and here’s why. Think about it for a moment. Lets say that everything you can think of connects to the internet in your home, within reason. Shower, toilet, stove, fridge, tv, doors to the house, you name it. Now imagine somebody hacked into any, or all, of these devices. You have a huge problem now!

Someone could turn on your stove or oven, causing safety concerns. Make your water run non-stop, stop your toilet from working, turn off the fridge’s power, open your house, and several other things ranging from minor to severe.

Although these things are scary, we shouldn’t think the end is near. More things become more hackable yes, but not everyone is out to get you. If you limit what personal info you put on the internet, you shouldn’t have to worry about people hacking you.

You can’t completely protect yourself as we head for the future, but you can at least stop serious issues from happening by just paying attention to what you do online.


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Author
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Synzer
After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).