Perceived Security

A few days after I published my impression that NYC seems like a safe place, Bruce Schneier blogs about a mother sending her child on a subway journey, arguing that it’s safe to do so. It’s probably the coincidence that prompts me to recommend that particular article on his blog, but it also ties in with privacy-related posts right here on this blog.

It’s easy to overestimate both feelings of security and feelings of insecurity, and anyone with a stake in making you feel more or less secure than you really are will do so1. It’d be good if people understood the difference between their real security situation and their perceived security better.

  1. I’m not saying that people necessarily do so for profit, though some will. A mother putting the fear of being killed into her child has a stake in her child’s feeling of insecurity as well, as she’ll at least think that way she’s less likely to lose her child. []