Fox recently canceled their show about hackers “Breaking In.”

Whatever you might have thought about the show, it got people talking and thinking about hackers. Just like the Sony Playstation Network attack reminded people about the risks of information technology and maybe realizing that game consoles are actually computers with some reasonably valuable data on them.

We’re always on the lookout for imagery for the website. We ran a few searches of some stock photo websites recently. What came back proved informative, and more than a little amusing.

These stock image companies produce a lot of images to illustrate just about any subject you can think of. They can be a fair indication of what the general public thinks of a subject.

People don’t know a lot about information security. They know that viruses are bad and that sometimes their computer “doesn’t work.”

But once we get an idea of how the public views us, maybe we can start doing things to change that view. Because while we might think of ourselves this way:

There are still a lot of people who might view us this way:

Until then we’ll have to settle for this mental image of a “hacker.”

or this image:

or maybe this one:

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Our clients certainly wish “computer security” was this easy.

Though it might feel more like this to them sometimes:

It might help the next time we are talking to people outside the department that they may not see information security the same way we do. And by knowing where they are starting from, we can lead them where they need to go.