Only nine days left before World Backup Day, that special holiday that reminds us all to back up our important data before it’s too late. Too late for what, exactly? There are millions of ways the data loss scenario can play out. For all those visual learners out there, I’ve highlight 3 classic films that continue to reinforce the urgent need for backing up by scaring the living hell out of us.
The Net (1995) Cast: Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam, Dennis Miller
In The Net, we meet an introverted computer analyst named Angela Bennett (played by Sandra Bullock). For Angela, computers are “a perfect hiding place.” Or so she thought. One day, Angela receives a disk with a weird bug that she attempts to fix. While debugging the program, Angela accidentally reads top secret governmental information. It’s that moment when everything falls apart. Someone has altered every record of her life using the Internet. Her keys, her passport and all her ID papers are lost. Her identity? Gone and replaced by a new one with a shameful criminal record (prostitution? Yes, they went there). In 1995, this movie was terrifying. In 2017, still terrifying.
The Lesson: In the words of Angela: “Just think about it. Our whole world is sitting there on a computer. It’s in the computer, everything: your, your DMV records, your, your social security, your credit cards, your medical records. It’s all right there. Everyone is stored in there. It’s like this little electronic shadow on each and everyone of us, just, just begging for someone to screw with, and you know what? They’ve done it to me, and you know what? They’re gonna do it to you.” In other words, back up your life!
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Ben Stein (Bueller…? Bueller?)
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, we meet high school bad boy, Ferris, played by a young Matthew Broderick at his most handsome. Ferris is bumming hard when his parents give him a computer instead of a car for his birthday. Major bummer! Next, he does what any normal teenager would in his situation: he hacks into his school’s database, changes his grades (to the dismay of the evil Principal Rooney), hijacks a Ferrari and heads to Chicago for the day. Seriously, what’s NOT to love about this film?
The Lesson: Principal Rooney’s takeaway? Always backup valuable student records in case a handsome student decides to plays hacker.
Independance Day (1986) Cast: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum
In Independance Day, humans are facing extinction. An army of big creepy aliens have flown 90 billion light-years from home and entered the Earth’s atmosphere, parking various spacecrafts above every major landmark in the world. Faced with alien onslaught, computer nerd David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) delivers a MASTER plan of attack: they must fly up to the 15-mile wide mothership and plant a computer virus, which will destroy the entire menacing fleet. Enlisting the help of Steve Hiller (Will Smith), the two men successfully hack into the UFO software and save the world. Great film featuring some of the best Will Smith one-liners (“I ain’t heard no fat lady!”) of all time.
The Lesson: Hackers are a threat to mankind and alien-kind alike!