Further evolving what I mean when I mean when I say "domain literacy", and wanted to brush up on the benefits of domain literacy are, which is why this is an area I'm focusing more attention on in 2017. It is important to me to be able to articulate what I mean by domain literacy because it is a potentially complex, multi-dimensional concept that impacts our physical as well as our digital worlds.
While there is no antidote for everything that ills us on the web these days, I feel like domain literacy brings some interesting benefits to the table that can help protect the average person from two of the most dangerous things that we face on the web right now:
- Phishing - If your are domain literate, you will always right click on ANY link in an email before clicking, closing up the number one way that hackers, and cyber(in)security specialist get into secured networks and systems.
- Disinformation - If you are domain literate, you will know every share on Facebook links to a domain, and understand that there is wider context beyond the catchy title, description, and image of the Facebook "card" being shared.
There are many challenges with ensuring a large percentage of the population meets a baseline domain literacy, and there will be other benefits beyond these, but I feel like we have to begin somewhere. These are two of the most important tools in any cyber(in)security specialist's toolbox. It is how the average person is compromised digitally and misled emotionally, resulting in a very malleable, and exploitable individual.
I am not suggesting that everyone should be fully aware of each web domain of everything they use and share daily, or the inner workings of DNS, I am just suggesting that we draw a baseline of what is domain literacy, and identify what we'd like to accomplish with this definition. If we can help enough folks meet a baseline definition of domain literacy, I can't help but think we could shift the current cyber(in)security environment significantly and make for an incrementally healthier online environment for everybody.