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Cybersecurity is essential to keep up with any high functioning society. Internet use has reached an all-time high, with the development of new technologies, the removal of many forms of paper mail, and the convenience of being able to connect and have access to millions of people, along with their information and the ability to store your personal information online in a cloud. Over the last 30 years, cybersecurity has changed dramatically and has influenced the way we view information on the internet.

The Early 1990’s
The internet was in its earliest stages when the first internet worm created by Robert Morrison dug through online information and virtually shut the internet down. This massive worm spread so quickly that many people lost complete control of their computers. Although it would have been devastating in a time like today, those in the early 90s did not store nearly as much information on their computers as we do now. This very first internet worm coined the many developments of online protection software, which in hindsight became the first type of cyber security for individuals.

The Late 1990’s and the Early 2000’s
The 90’s were a time when many people were finally starting to believe in the abilities of the internet. In a time of vulnerability, the very first virus attacked millions of people around the globe, later named The Melissa and the ILOVEYOU virus. This raised awareness for using your email on untrusted websites and created the technology used to be able to identify the origin of each email that has been sent to you. Many companies fretted at the idea of their work-related emails going public, so they bought into the virus protection plans that were eventually offered to them.

The Late 2000s
In the new millennium internet use completely skyrocketed with the use of online shopping and entering personal information. In one of the most significant online credit card attacks, Albert Gonzalez was able to compromise the online security of TJ Maxx and cost the company upwards of 256 million dollars. This changed the way that large companies put money away to compensate victims that have been targeted through their unprotected systems. They began to acquire more sophisticated systems that would take themselves and their clients out of reach for online security breaches.

2010 and Onward
With the use of the internet not slowing down, we have encountered many online attacks, whether in the form of leaked official government emails, the internet of things being completely connected, and the use of artificial intelligence we have entered into an age where everything we post and/or do online can be subjected to a cyber attack. Although far from perfect, many companies are taking the correct steps to promote cybersecurity for themselves and their users. This applied to Facebook and Twitter removing bots, and additionally, individual users browsing in incognito mode. As a society, there must be better steps to promote cybersecurity.