ZELLA COMPTON: Cyber attack makes us think about reliance on technology

When a cyber security threat hits the country, it really makes you reflect on what's on your laptop or desktop computer and where you'd be without them.

Wednesday, 17th May 2017, 7:20 am
After the rain

One of the things I always say I would grab if the house was on fire is my photographs (after the children, husband and dog).

Yet, faced with losing my laptop and its contents, I’ve realised that it has years, probably a decade’s-worth, of pics on it that I’ve never printed out or backed up sensibly.

It’s ironic that the digital capacity to take so many images has left me without very many at all. Where I’d once take careful shots so as not to go over my 36 images on a roll and print them all, I now take hundreds and print none as it’s too much of a pain to look through them all.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Then there are the stories, plays and poems. There are a fair few on my laptop and I suspect that, in the piles of paperwork I have stashed all over the house, I have a copy in draft form of all of them somewhere.

I do take the time to back up my work in progress by emailing it to myself every couple of days – and using dropbox when I remember. So if I lost the laptop in a dystopian cyber crisis, I could manage.

But what I’d be at a loss without is how to update my website, and other instructions which I’ve built up over the years, particularly how to get online to the self-assessment website (oh what a joy that one is).

What I find interesting too is the report that a 22-year-old helped to stop the destruction of the NHS – and the speculation that it might have been started by a 15-year-old in his/her bedroom.

Cyber attacks appear to belong to the young, but I wonder how long that will remain the case, or whether hacking will gradually become the preserve of the middle-aged as our current hacking crop mature?

Anyway, I had a lovely Sunday as I’d misplaced my phone and was too afraid to turn on my computer. A day without technology and social media, without being tied to the internet wondering if something exciting was happening somewhere without me.


Here it is at last, the spring rain sent to bring our gardens bursting into life.

Or, in the case of mine, knock over the roses, twist the willow to the ground and flatten the bearded iris.

(By the way, that’s about the extent of my gardening knowledge when it comes to plant names – everything else is either a weed or known by their colours and their positions).

But while the rain is busily destroying some elements of the garden by flattening them, it also brings with it the glorious scent of life.

After the first moments when it hits the ground, that lovely earthen smell is everywhere.

If you could bottle that fragrance, I reckon that it would make a fortune sold as car air freshener.


We’ve got new rules in Gosport about dog walking.

The one that worries me is always having to have a bag to hand to be able to dispose of any mess.

I do – and don’t get me wrong, I always make sure I pick up.

But having a bag in my pocket is not always as simple as it seems.

Take, for instance, this morning’s walk, where my dog had three glorious poos all with a sea view.

All well and good, but then a fellow walker needed an extra bag so I helped them out. Aha – so there we were, all picked up and good to go, with empty pockets.

And that was fine as, fortunately, no more were needed.

But you have to wonder just how many bags you need to go out with?