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Our brains are running security software designed to protect us against lions and bears. Aleks Krotoski explores how well it works when faced with the risks of the digital world.

Our brains are still running security software designed to protect us against lions, tigers and bears and we haven't run an update for about 200,000 years. Aleks Krotoski explores how well it works when faced with the risks of the digital world.

According David Ropeik author and risk communication expert at Harvard University the modern technological world presents our risk perception abilities with much more complex and abstract problems than it was ever designed to cope with. For him we feel risk rather calculate it so whether its cyber-terrorism or climate change if the risk doesn't immediately push our risk buttons we simply don't know how to react with the risk of getting risk wrong.

And no-where can the risks seem more abstract than in the digital world. Aleks explores how we respond to the dangers that lurk there through a range of stories. We spend time being driven round the Channel island of Jersey in the company of Toni an 18 year old who gives lifts to people she's only ever met through Facebook, we'll hear how a professional online poker player uses the minimal information she can glean about other players to know when to bet big and Aleks will also discover how even a walk in the park can put our technology and the private information we keep there in jeopardy.

Producer: Peter McManus.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 13 Oct 2014 16:30

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Music Played

  • The Chemical Brothers

    Hanna's Theme

    • Hanna.
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson

    The Cause is the Labour of the World

    • Transcendentalism EP.
  • New Young Pony Club

    The Optimist

    • The Optimist.
  • melodium

    Phoebe

    • Phoebe.
  • The Chemical Brothers

    The Forest

    • Hanna.
  • melodium

    Flacana 03

    • Flacana, Flacana.
  • Lullatones

    The Best Paper Airplane Ever

    • Soundtracks for Everyday Adventures.

Casey Douglass

Casey Douglass
Casey Douglass is a freelance writer and author who has been overcoming his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for decades. A badge wearing geek and tech fan, he often enjoys writing about how geekery and mental health can interact, for better or for worse.

David Ropeik

David  Ropeik

David  Ropeik is an renowned expert on risk perception,  and the author of 'How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts'.

He shares with us how our brains react to fear and perceive dangers, and how ill equipped they are to deal with the intangible dangers of the digital world.

David  Ropeik is an reknowned expert on risk perception, an instructor at the Harvard Extension School, and the author of ‘How Risky is it, Really? Why our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts.'

He shares with us how our brains react to fear and perceive dangers, and how ill equipped they are to deal with the intangible dangers of the digital world. 

Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at London School of Economics and has dedicated much of her research to children, media and the Internet.

She explains why we have an inflated perception of dangers to children, and how children actually react to online risks.

Glenn Wilkinson

Glenn Wilkinson

Glenn Wilkinson is a White Hat Hacker and Senior Security Analyst at SensePost.

He and Aleks when to a London park where he demonstrated Snoopy, a drone he developed that can access all the data on your phone as you try to connect to a known wifi source.

Eliza Burnett

Eliza Burnett

Eliza Burnett is Editor of Poker Europa magazine and author of ‘A Girls' Guide to Poker’.

She tells us how she calculates risks during a game, and how that calculation changes from the table to the computer screen.

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