Just the other day, Marty Kohler, commented we could not keep pace with technology. In addition, Marty pointed out that the laws are lagging behind technology as well, making it difficult to apply current laws to cybercrimes and borderless technologies.
The same concerns regarding technology hold true with the phenomenon of social networks, e commerce, and keeping pace with protecting our privacy online. It was not long ago, prior to the Internet, that I wonder how often anyone was concerned with privacy issues, and especially his or her child’s privacy issues.
The Digital Age has connected the dots globally…In real time with individuals like you and me. Social networks and specifically, Facebook have succeeded to connect more than 500,000,000 dots. The digital technologies having accomplished this is a dream come true for behavioral targeting, and marketing in general. Global industries are vying for our attention through the social networks and websites on the Internet.
The CyberHood Watch partners, Dave & Bill, understand having the foresight to recognize a problem and being part of the solution. TRUSTe possessed that foresight and advocated on behalf of privacy rights, and now is the gatekeeper between consumers and privacy rights. TRUSTe is a solution, and recognized by over three-thousand bearers of the TRUSTe mark.
Privacy has changed from what we associated with before the Internet. I remember as a child feeling the lack of privacy while talking on a two-party telephone line. That quickly changed to a private line; however, we were taught and instructed; politely excuse yourself if you picked up the phone during someone’s conversation, and quietly hang up…Do not listen-in.
Privacy was living together, and our privacy was our business and not frivolously shared, and certainly not shared with someone eavesdropping on a private conversation, because of a two-party line.
Today, privacy is much different and subjective. Information that is comfortable for you to share in exchange be targeted and specific advertising based on information you personally shared, may be okay for you, but I expect it to remain private, and to exercise that choice. With the onset of the digital age, everyone has access to your privacy by peering through your PC window, your digital devices, and potentially all your personally identifiable information (PII) collected and stored in databases throughout the World Wide Web. If you thought, having a private conversation on a two-party line was a concern regarding your privacy, it is only a grain of sand in the Sahara in comparison to connecting to the digital age.
With the onset of social network sites adults were thinking…
“Kids don’t care about privacy, social networks are nothing but a cesspool for children or teens, and all kinds of platitudes, frankly without a whole lot of research behind it, especially around the group between thirteen and seventeen”, said Fran Mier, President of TRUSTe.
TRUSTe certifies the practices of web sites, so they look at the privacy policies, the consent experiences, and the promises made by the company. Companies are held accountable to the standards TRUSTe supplies or a higher standard the company chooses to live by, and then awards that company the TRUSTe mark. The mark verifies that customers can trust sharing his or her information online with companies associated with the mark. “Keep your promises” is a comment you will hear Fran say often.
Recently, TRUSTe set out to find what parents and teens are doing with his or her privacy online as it relates to social networks. Surprisingly and fortunately, there were concerns, not only about privacy, but also about wanting more controls over privacy, discovering how privacy controls are being used, and an awareness by parents of how much time teens are spending on social networks were made more clear.
One statistic that surprised both Bill and me was finding out 72% of parents are using some form of monitoring for parenting his or her child’s online social activities. I will be interested to know how our CyberHood Watch friends at PC Pandora will look at this statistic. I venture to guess there is a distinction regarding the quality of monitoring service provided, and the parents’ perception. Often parents think their anti-malware protection is still in effect long after its expiration.
The first consideration for anyone purchasing a digital device, which connects to the Internet, must also consider what the best alternatives are for protecting his or her security, safety, and privacy. When considering joining any social network look for verification like, TRUSTe as proof the owner of the site values your privacy.
Moreover, if you are conducting a digital business, large or small, having the seal of TRUSTe on your sight indicates you are concerned about your customers’ privacy. It also says you conduct business using a standard of best practices, and understanding how the issues of privacy and Identity Theft can affect your patrons, whether they know it or not…Doing what is best for your customers, and assure them their privacy is considered.
A survey conducted by TRUSTe titled, “Kids Are Alright*“; is a hopeful indication for advocates involved with the safety and security of children, families, and parents can have some assurance their efforts are succeeding. However, the asterisk following …Alright*, in the title, “Kids Are Alright” is a reminder that privacy, security, and safety does not stop with the survey.
We were all surprised that 72% of parents were monitoring his or her child on social network sites. It just dawned on me, as I was listening to the show; we are not talking about monitoring software, we are talking about a different type of monitoring. When I read that statistic and then heard Fran Maier describe what constituted the 72% monitoring, it made more sense why I thought it was high. The 72% includes parents checking kids’ accounts, monitoring through public accounts, talking to kids about privacy, and even including befriending his or her child. Unlike my initial thought, I believed it was seventy-two per cent software monitoring. Wow! Seventy-two percent of parents monitoring his or her child’s online activities and social networks with a service like PC Pandora or equivalent would be a positive and effective change for a safe digital life.
Not unlike ConnectSafely with similar findings that things were not as bad as they seemed, and urged for more relationship building between trusted adults and kids. Hearing that “Kids Are Alright*” and knowing that seventy-two per cent of parents are communicating in some way will definitely bring about an awareness for the better.
Parents, befriend your child on his or her social network. That said there are certain protocols as a parent you might want to be mindful about. For example, here is a post by Fran Maier that explains, as only a mom could, Fran’s personal experience on how to avoid being de-friended by your child.
Another finding of the report, which highlights the need for more behavioral modification are for kids to understand the consequences of over-posting, over-sharing, and over-friending. The latter behavior could potentially connect his or her child with a predator or pedophile.
If you are a small business, TRUSTe is available for you! The consensus of the survey, “Kids Are Alright*” has uncovered several positive statistics (along with the asterisk), and an assurance there is light at the end of the tunnel, and shows like The CyberHood Watch are happy to share the report with our guests.
Your CyberHood Watch Partner,
david c ballard
Radio Security Journalist