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Cybersecurity tips and the Internet's trust issues

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Greetings all,

In this week’s episode of Ventures, my guests Malcolm Harkins, Sol Cates, and I discuss all-things cybersecurity. After hearing about Malcolm’s background and career path, we examine the history and principles of cybersecurity for startup founders, individuals, and anyone helping to usher in the Web 3.0 era.

Check it out: History and principles of cybersecurity for startup founders, individuals, and Web 3.0 builders :: with Malcolm Harkins and Sol Cates

The Internet's trust issues

Blockchains are amazing to help us scale trust, but what do we really mean by this?

I’ve been thinking about it recently in two ways: (1) “Trust” with regard to the reliability of where we get our data, and (2) “Trust” with regard to the reliability of where we store our data.

And because data equals money, and money equals time, we ultimately are trusting the allocation of our time to sources that we may or may not be willfully/thoughtfully intending.

In other words, we are consciously (or unconsciously) trusting the sources of the information we get from friends, news outlets, blogs, social media, etc… AND we are also trusting that the zillions of web/mobile apps we give our information to - from banking details to trivial games - won’t get hacked or sell/leak our data to nefarious actors.

Well, Web 2.0 let us down in more ways than one. Not only did most of our data get hacked, but our brains have been programmed to react to little red numbers and post things we later regret (with time/money we regret spending).

What’s the solution?

I’ve been having really great conversations over the past couple of weeks from my March 30th newsletter. In those conversations, we agreed that the world is primed for some kind of tool that is a hybrid between a newsletter, Reddit, and Snap...with one important caveat: we need a platform that cleverly makes use of social graphs and trust networks for the storage and reception of data in a Web-3-friendly way.

What does this look like?

We’ve been running tests. These tests are exploring the spectrum of in-person conversation, to Zoom calls, to text messages, to messaging apps, to forums, to various social media platforms that use algorithms to surface content for us.

Part of the reason why the algorithms have been so appealing - at least to hook us in - is that our brains really don’t know what to do with our social graphs. We don’t know how to think deeply about who to ask for what, or how to spend our time...so the robots are happy to fill that void for us.

I have a couple articles/essays that I’m working on slowly around these issues that I hope to carve out more time to finish up in the coming weeks/months. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I’d love to continue these conversations. Feel free to hit reply and let’s discuss. What value do you get out of your texts/DMs/emails/social media posts, etc… ? What solutions need to be built?  I’m especially curious about text communication between multiple parties, especially when people you don’t know (i.e. who may be 3-4 degrees or more away in your social graph) can chime in.

I’m sure there’s a Web-3-friendly way to proceed here that will be amazing, we just need to figure it out.

Have a great rest of your week!