We can all be thankful for so much of what’s going on this Thanksgiving. Very important things like good health, family and friends, and so much more. We can also be thankful for some of the stuff that we need to use every day to do our jobs and just get by in this tech-connected world.
Here are 5 things we could all be thankful for:
If you’re like me and your first computer came with a 2400 baud modem, your mind is probably still blown at how fast things are today. If you have no idea what “2400 baud modem” even means, first, lucky you, and second, I’m going to call you “kid”. You missed out on the futuristic sound a modem made and the trauma of having your parents pick up the phone mid-connection. For folks that went through the dial-up to DSL to cable modem evolution, having a way to connect more than one computer and enough bandwidth to do more than one thing at once is amazing. While we get spoiled and expect top speeds 100% of the time, I’m still very thankful for any form of high-speed internet.
Unless you’re a gamer that needs a massive rig with multiple video cards, you’re probably toting a laptop. The central processing unit, the input devices (keyboard and mouse), and the output devices (screen and speakers) all in one easy to carry, self-powered package. I still have my very first laptop, a Lenovo (IBM) ThinkPad from the late 90s. Yes, 1990s. Back then, it seemed like it was a gift from NASA even if it took 10 minutes to boot up and had a 20-minute battery life after a year of use. Now, compared to even the cheapest laptop on the market, the ThinkPad really makes you “Think” about how thankful you should be for your laptop.
At this point, you’re probably thinking this is an old persons guide to technology, but as a 40-something I’m going to defend myself with this one. Smartphones are obviously great but what they replaced are still being sold. You can still buy a phone that doesn’t support apps or have a camera. You can still buy an MP3 player and the iPod was just discounted this year. Point-and-shoot cameras are still around and even if they are 20+ megapixels, do you really want to carry all that stuff around? If you do, let me know and I’ll buy you a neon green fanny pack to keep all your stuff in. I’ll stick with and be thankful for my smartphone which gives me access to all the music I’ll ever want to listen to and better-than-HD movies, oh and some work stuff too.
Web sites used to be static and informational. Some still are. Applications used to either run locally on your computer or on an on-premises server. Some still do. But Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications are now the norm. Even hardcore applications like photo and video-editing software have SaaS variants that give you most of the feature and functionality. Nothing to install or upgrade or maintain. No need to bring your files with you since most store them in the cloud. While some complain about subscriptions, getting access anywhere and continuously getting new features and updates make SaaS applications something to be very thankful for.
Being in the network and access security industry for 20+ years, I’ve always been extra sensitive to being safe and protecting myself and my organization. The first time I tried to buy something online, I recall the beads of sweat and my hand shaking as I entered my super-secret and precious credit card number into the webpage and then fully expecting my identity and everything to be stolen by the next morning. The early days of eCommerce when most sites were still HTTP aren’t that long ago, but the evolution has been drastic. Security has really become everyone’s responsibility and the progression is obvious everywhere. While the cat-and-mouse game continues and we’re always one breach away from learning what other measures we need to take, we should be thankful that all the tech we discussed above is built on a foundation that provides security. Be safe, and be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving from Banyan Security!