Chapter 3. Engage the Brain

If protecting data privacy is presented in the same old technical and boring way, no one will listen or retain the knowledge long enough to put it to use.

Our task is to make data protection interesting and easy to remember. We must find a way to engage the brain. For attention and memory's sake, we almost want to make a game out of security, but without diminishing the seriousness of our task. Have you ever used a mnemonic device (usually in the form of a verbal memory aid) to help you remember the items on a test? A classic example is using the name Roy G. Biv to remember the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).

We are looking for a similar device to remind us of protecting our privacy, only more sophisticated. We want a way to think about and react to privacy in ways that are more natural to our current processes. We need a common lan-guage that connects privacy to something we already know and understand at an intuitive level. That is why I use the metaphor thinking like a spy.

Think Like a Spy

Let's say that your worst enemy is on a mission to steal everything you have— your private documents, home, investments, health, retirement, reputation, even your time. The only way that your enemy can steal these items is by spying on you, to exploit your vulnerabilities. Would that change the amount of information you give out, and to whom? Would it benefit you to under-stand the way that your enemy is thinking and spying ...

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