There are many exciting stories in which IT and technology play a role. However, many of them have problems in the details.
Making exciting stories real
The hacker is almost in, but then the computer hangs, the fans howl, suddenly the device bursts into flames because of the overloaded RAM.
Not only people with a background in IT security wince at this point. The technically uninitiated may be halfway to getting a fireproof pad for their Windows computer.
Many minor and major tech errors are avoidable with slight modifications.
The three biggest mistakes in a story where IT plays a role:
- One character in the story "just hacks" an organization faster than it takes to log into a computer.
- The Tor browser and the Tor network (vulgo: Darknet) are described as forbidden technology, used only by criminals for illegal purposes.
- The hacker:ins in the story say "cyber" all the time.
But much more can go wrong. For one thing, we shape society's worldview with the books we send out into the world. People may believe that it's so easy to "hack back," and such a belief may carry through to the government level, as seen in current debates against the backdrop of Putin's war in Ukraine; unfortunately, it's not that easy, and the debate is therefore much more complex than people think.
On the other hand, people who are familiar with the topics of the Internet, IT security, data protection, etc. naturally notice such blunders. The author loses credibility for these readers, often not only for this story. You can avoid this. Questioning portrayals in films and doing a little research would help. Or asking a person who is familiar with the technologies used in the story.
I gladly support you with logic and developmental editing with a focus on IT, engineering and technologies.
My own history: In 1999/2000 I spent a few semesters in a dormitory among computer scientists. The dorm network was a thick strand of cables, some of which went down the outside of the house wall and through the windows into the individual student rooms. On the dorm network, we communicated (way before messengers) with popups. And every week I got the message: "Would you like a coffee?", which translated meant: "I'm screwing around with the computer and don't feel like removing the mainboard. You have such small hands. Don't you want to set the jumpers? You'll get a coffee for it, too." So I learned a lot about computer hardware. But there's also a lot that stuck with me from that time, as far as the Internet is concerned. Back then I also had my first blog of my own: html, handwritten. I was excited about combining technology and writing.
Later, I worked for various newspapers while studying, then for a PR agency during my doctorate, where I looked after several tech clients and wrote texts for them. From there I was headhunted by an agency, put the PhD in the drawer for the full-time job as a project manager in web development. There I learned a lot about how websites, programs, games and apps are built, as well as how tracking and analytics work. I did this job for over seven years, first in advertising agencies, then as a freelancer for agencies, and finally on the client side with various agencies. During that time, I also published my first crime novels. Dealing with the background of technology and the advertising industry seems to encourage murder.
In parallel to my job in web development, I joined the CCC, the Chaos Computer Club in Germany, in 2015 and have been advocating for data protection and privacy ever since. Especially in educational programs like PrivacyWeek or "Chaos macht Schule", where we volunteer to go into schools and give workshops on media literacy and internet literacy. I have been giving talks and workshops on "digital self-defense" and teaching technical skills at international conferences and universities since 2016.
In 2018, I quit my job at a corporation and took further training to become a data protection officer and another exam at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce to become a data protection expert.
I enjoy passing on knowledge, as all those who have read my book "Easy Ways to Be More Private on the Internet" can confirm. By the way, in March 2022, the fourth, freshly updated and once again expanded edition was published. And the second English version derives from this new edition.
I look forward to hearing from you.
By the way, also if you would like to have a coaching from me in the area of technology and digital self-defense either for yourself or your book characters. I help you get the technical background of your story right. And I also coach on plot problems and help you to get your book project structure in order.