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Lessons from the movies: What to do when technology attacks

Technology advances in leaps and bounds every year. Who would have thought that in 2013 we would have phones that are smarter than their operators and TVs and robots that respond to voice commands. But what happens when technology turns bad? Having no previous experience in this arena as yet, we decided to prepare ourselves for the worst-case scenario by watching movies. These are the lessons we’ve learned about what to do when technology attacks.

Elysium (2013)

Elysium, a home for the privileged, is a man-made space station that looks like the Garden of Eden. There is no sickness, no poverty, no war. The rest of the population is trying to survive on a desolate Earth. Max De Costa (Matt Damon) draws the short straw and is forced to join a mission for equality, but he’s up against Elysium’s state-of-the-art security system and some very bad bots.

Lesson: You’ll need military-issue weaponry and a hunky dude with biceps.

War Games (1983)

Rewind to the ’80s. Before the invention of the internet and decent computer graphics, there was War Games. This was the movie that kick-started Matthew Broderick’s (better known for his role as Ferris Bueller) career. As a whiz kid, he accidentally connects to a top-secret super-computer that challenges him to a nuclear war game between the U.S. and Russia — only he triggers a very real countdown to World War III.

Lesson: Shut down the electricity to any computer that behaves inappropriately.

Find out how to make sure your kids are safe while surfing the net >>

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Cyborg T-1000 seems invincible with its metal endoskeleton and is hell bent on its mission to kill John Connor (Edward Furlong). This time it takes more than having a former bad-boy android (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as a protector and heavy-duty machine guns. Destroying a cyborg, which can melt back together, calls for a grenade to the guts followed by a swim in a pool of molten metal.

Lesson: At the first sign of criminal cyborgs, arm yourself with grenades, and set up camp at a steel mill near a pit of molten metal.

The Ring (2002)

An investigative journalist has to research a video responsible for the death of four teenagers. The tape comes with a warning that anyone who watches it will get a phone call from someone saying they will die within seven days.

Lesson: Quite simple, really: Don’t answer the phone or watch video tapes that come with death warnings.

Small Soldiers (1998)

GloboTech creates a new range of weapons in the form of toy soldiers. This squad of elite killing machines makes it onto shelves of toy shops. The commander has his heart set on going to war. Make no mistake: They might be small, but they’re vicious.

Lesson: When all else fails, try to create an electromagnetic pulse to destroy any electronics.

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V/H/S (2012)

Another movie about videotapes wrecking havoc on the lives of innocent people who watch them. This is one movie you’ll want to watch with all the lights on and someone to snuggle up with, because after seeing this, you won’t be sleeping well. Rated: Super-scary.

Lesson: Smash your VHS tapes, and get rid of your video recorder.

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