12 Years A Slave Summary

Watching 12 Years A Slave gave me a very realistic, but very shocking visual about everything that we have learned in class regarding slavery this semester and how slavery really was in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in America. Before watching the movie, I thought I had a good idea of what slavery was like up until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865, which officially ended it in the United States of America. However, what I realized is that I knew about slavery, but I didn’t really know what it was like until I saw it with my own eyes in this movie. 12 Years A Slave was a unique movie in that it accurately captured the brutality and injustice of buying and selling people as if they were products or goods in a very bold and brutally honest way. I say this because I have watched other movies about slavery that were unable to do this. This unapologetically brutality is what allowed me to feel for the black slaves and see the tremendous evilness, brutality, and terrible violent treatments that white slave owners imposed on black slaves on a daily basis.

The movie was centered around an African American free man who lived in upstate New York with his family, which was composed of his wife, Anne, and two children, Alonso and Margaret. His name was Solomon Northup. He was shown as a man who was living a good life and who life had been very kind to. In addition to being a loving family man, he also happened to be a very talented violinist. One day in 1841, he received an offer from a pair of “traveling entertainers” to perform in Washington D.C. Shorty after Solomon arrived there, he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in the South. For the next 12 years of his life, he suffered unimaginable physical and psychological cruelty. This cruelly planned trip to take Solomon to Washington D.C. sparked the beginning of a terrible new life for him. Solomon, an innocent free black man had now lost his real life and had essentially become a slave overnight.

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Before being kidnapped and sold into slavery, Solomon was a free black man who had yet to understand or acknowledge the tenuous false sense of security that enabled him to be ignorant to slavery. Solomon was a different kind of black person because he was a middle class man that was nothing like the black slaves in the South at the time. All of this became irrelevant once he woke up in a dark cell and realized that he had been kidnapped. At this time, his sense of security was broken and was never to be restored again. To the slave catchers who had kidnapped and subsequently beaten him numerous times resulting in him being very close to dying, he was never the respected Solomon Northup he was in upstate New York.

Instead, to them he was a Georgia runaway faceless slave with no history or free papers, who’s new identity and name was Platt. In one of the movie’s many powerful shots, Solomon’s terrified face looking through the barred window of his dark cell shouting for help after being heavily beaten up by his kidnappers was shown. Immediately after, the camera shifted from his face to reveal the U.S. capitol building on the horizon. This brief shot provided a very hard lesson for Solomon, who had then realized that as a black person, his voice, his pain, and his humanity were all invalid in the eyes of the law. Even though he was legally free before his kidnapping, this devastating and terrifying shot of Solomon’s face revealed to me how strange and incongruous it was to consider any so called free black person in 19th century America free people, when in reality their freedom was strictly relative.

Throughout the movie, I was shocked to see how many slave owners would beat up and kill their black slaves just because they were their property and they had the right to do so. Furthermore, it was very hard for me to process this because I have never seen or thought of a human being, regardless of their race or color, as property. I was also amazed by how at one point in the movie, Solomon Northup was left with no other option than to give into his situation and acknowledge that he was now a slave and not a free man anymore. There was a specific scene in the movie in which I saw his face and eyes when he realized that this was his new life now and that there was nothing he could do about it because he was now a powerless black slave in the South. I could tell he had the “I’m never getting out of this situation” type of feeling, which was a widespread feeling among all black slaves in the South at the time who were trapped in the same situation as him.

In addition, countless times throughout the movie, white men and slave owners gave monologues that made me realize how terrible and crazy these people were because they really saw black people (slaves) as property. This was very shocking to me and it got to a point in the movie in which it became very hard for me to keep watching because of how cruel and sad everything that was going on was. Another thing that really shocked me and made me think about the reality of how slavery really was, was the use of the “n” word. This movie used this word in a very degrading, humiliating, and disrespectful way. The movie portrayed this as if every time a white slave owner wanted to refer or get the attention of a black slave they would do it by screaming this word out loud together with other degrading racial slurs. This became very annoying to me and I felt disgusted by the use of the word throughout the movie. It got to a point in the movie in which every time I heard the word I felt insulted and disgusted by it because of the harshness and cruelness in which it was being used by white slave owners to disrespect black slaves. It made me ask myself, “how could anyone do this on a daily basis, feel good about themselves, and keep living this way for the rest of their lives?” Inside, I was very saddened and disgusted by this, thinking about how cruel and disrespectful it was to treat, talk, and refer to black slaves or anyone in such ways.

Even though this movie made me feel terrible for all of the black slaves who suffered from this for many years throughout American history, I think this movie was definitely worth watching because of how accurately it portrayed the cruel, violent, and injust, but true reality of what slavery was at the time in America. This is the best movie I have seen about slavery and therefore I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand and see the truth about slavery in America.

Constant The Rise Of Technologies And Cyber Threats

There is a wide range of cyber threats that happen every day, it is important that we follow all of the necessary precaution’s in order to ensure the safety of our private information including but not limited to passwords, network credentials, banking or credit card information. Malicious attacks occur more frequently than one would expect, their purpose is to damage a device. Most of us are unaware of the weaknesses we have within our smartphone’s security settings.

With that being said, expand your current knowledge, try to be conscious of the weaknesses that surround us and attempt to eliminate them before they are able to obtain any personal information. A good way to go about this is to consider your smartphones security features as a whole, this approach could potentially decrease the threat. It is essential to narrow down where these threats are coming from in the first place also. Trace them back to the root and understand their motive of the attack. It was known that old techniques were used with new ones. As technology has been on the rise in the past decade, the sophistication regarding the attacks has increased immensely.

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A number of threats usually come from the smartphone itself, such as our internal touchscreens and the chargers. In the case that something went wrong with your phone, in most cases, the issue is taken to the carrier and they attempt to troubleshoot it. If the issue is unable to troubleshoot they are then expected to replace what is broken with refurbished parts. The risk with these replaced parts can vary, one common issue is the device’s security setting is compromised. Opening up a vulnerable spot for an attack.

However, attackers always find new vulnerable targets to focus on regardless of the setting circumstances. Most times it doesn’t matter if your smartphone is protected rather, how protected is it? Developers ensure safety but sometimes leave “back doors” open which then limits the securities effectiveness. If they are unable to crack the passwords, the attackers focus on searching for flaws in the code. Flaws are another way for the attackers to modify the app functions. Instead of solely focusing on a password, keep an open mind and look out for flaws in the codes, or anything that would allow them to get in. It is mandatory for the developers to enforce complete encryption standards before releasing the app.

Some of the bigger threats to be aware of are “application-based threats”, “web-based threats”, “network-based threats”, and “physical threats”. Anew type of firewall program was developed and that fills in the missing layer of security. Some of the widest range threats consist of, data leakage, which is triggered by the apps on our phones, for the most part, the leakage is unintentional, there is nothing out of the ordinary to search for due to the fact the apps perform just fine, in fact as advertised. Phishing attacks typically come in the form of an email, this is the attacker’s attempt to gain confidential information from their target. They try to get ahold of the targets, official passwords, credit cards, and even network credentials.

In order to decrease this kind of threat is to be sure to monitor your email, always avoid clicking unfamiliar links sent to you or as a group mass message, usually sent in the form of an email. Although it may take a bit more time, try to manually type in the URL. Spyware is a way to track individuals. In order to avoid this, make sure you download an effective antivirus. It is beneficial to eliminate them before they eliminate you and take your personal information as if it was their own. Unsecured wifi is one of the most common ways for attackers to get your information, not many people consider the fact that the wifi they are using is a way to become a target. When there is free wifi somewhere like at Panera or a Starbucks, most of us don’t second guess it and join the network, assuming its safe. Any personal information you have stored on your phone is now available to them to access. Always be cautious when choosing a network to join.

There are some ways to be able to decrease the threat before it actually happens. First, always be sure to lock your phone rather it’s by a passcode you have created or even better a fingerprint detection f your personal print. Set a timer on your passcode lock, that way after a certain amount of time the phone will be locked and secure. In order to protect your information, encrypt the data you have. Set up a “remote wipe”, that way if your phone was ever stolen you are able to clear any data you have on your phone immediately.

Always back up your phones information and be ready to update your phone once the latest update is available, this also helps clear glitches. If you happen to download an unsafe app then immediately download an anti-malware in order to ensure your protection. Malicious apps are dangerous, they can acquire access to everything within your smartphone ranging from your address book to your pin numbers. These apps can redirect your personal information anywhere, there are no limits when it comes to the web.

Most individuals use online services, they are constantly reviewing their bank information, glancing at their credit card statements, or even paying them and tackling emails which usually have private conversations regarding an individual’s personals. A wise professor once said during an “academic-led fightback” against malware attack specifically “Success in this project would mean a rare opportunity for the cyber-security community to stay ahead of an emerging threat, instead of reacting to a threat which is already prevalent. (Turner 2014).

A few years back there was excessive funding, specifically millions of dollars to research teams at multiple different universities around the world towards enhancing their cybersecurity. “You may think that the phone in your pocket is safe, but think again. We’re used to considering our phones as a trusted, private channel of communication, and suitable to receive authentication information to access specific online services. Unfortunately, this information can be leaked or abused by colluding malware if the mobile device is infected” (Turner 2014). This statement enlightens us as to the seriousness of how vulnerable and unsafe we are at times.

As technology has expanded, so has the amount and kinds of cyber threats. Average individuals, rather they are a part of a business or not are usually more likely to retaliate against attacks even if the hackers continue to reside a few steps ahead. AS a research group has previously mentioned, “more breaches are happening, because more and more of our lives and money is online” (Toronto 2014). The best way to decrease threats to smartphones is to try and prevent them from happening in the first place. If you are unable to prevent them, fight back against them.

Work Cited

  1. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.libproxy.albany.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=AWNB&docref=news/147E712CF72BE5370
  2. Gontovnikas, M. (2017, December 04). 10 Mobile Security Threats ( and What You Can do to Fight Back). https://auth0.com/blog/ten-mobile-security-threats-and-what-you-can-do-to-fight-back/
  3. Here Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Threats to Watch out for in 2018. (n.d) https://www.cybary.it/channelcontent/here-are-the-biggest-cybersecurity-threats-to-watch-out-for-in-2018/

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