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National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 9:33am

Week 4 - Our Continuously Connected Lives: What's Your 'App'-titude?

The Internet is evolving from a network to which individuals connect into a network that connects everything to the individual. We are quickly advancing into a world where there is an app for everything. These rapid technological advances - like the Internet of Things - can yield tremendous benefits. Cyber security is fundamental to realizing the promise of new and expanded technologies. And more is still to come as smart cities, connected healthcare devices, digitized records and smart cars and homes are fast becoming our new reality. As our digital world expands, creating these cutting-edge technologies in a safe and secure way - along with building a workforce to maintain the infrastructure of our connected world - is essential. Week 4 will examine our future in this connected world and provide strategies for security, safety and privacy.
 
Below is the Department of Homeland Security's Cyber Security Social Media Guide for students and parents. (Printer-friendly version: Cyber Security Social Media Guide)
 
Check out the related links at the bottom of this page:  Cyber Security While Traveling Tip Card and two short videos about sharing and playing safely online.
 

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS FOR STUDENTS

As a student, you are more than accustomed to using the Internet in your everyday life, but the risks that come with that use could greatly impact you and your future.
 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 95 percent of teens use the Internet.1
  • 77 percent of teens use Facebook.2
  • 53 percent of teens use Instagram.3
  • 24 percent of teens use Twitter.4
  • 10 percent of teens use Tumblr.5
  • The average teen has approximately 300 friends on Facebook and 79 followers on Twitter.6
  • Among Twitter users aged 12 to 17, 64 percent made their tweets public.
  • 19 percent of teen users have posted things they regret, including photos, videos, status updates, tweets, or comments.7
  • Only 18 percent of young adults claim they are comfortable with what their friends post about them online, and 32 percent say that the information about them online is what they choose for the public to see.8
 

BEWARE OF WHAT YOU POST ONLINE

 
No matter what social media platform you use, consider the type of information you choose to share with others. Here are the common cyber risks you may face when using social media:
  • Sharing sensitive information. Sensitive information includes anything that can help a person steal your identity or find you, such as your full name, Social Security number, address, birthdate, phone number, or where you were born.
  • Posting questionable content. Remember future employers may look at your social media accounts before hiring you. Questionable content can include pictures, videos, or opinions that may you seem unprofessional or mean and can damage your reputation or future prospects.
  • Tracking your location. Many social media platforms allow you to check in and broadcast your location, or automatically adds your location to photos and posts.
 
1 Pew Research Center, “The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project: Teen Fact Sheet.” September 2012
2 Ibid
3 Pew Research Center, “Social Media Update 2014.” January 2015
4 Pew Research Center, “The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project: Teen Fact Sheet.” September 2012
5 Pew Research Center, “Teens and Libraries in Today’s Digital World.” April 2014
6 Pew Research Center, “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” May 2013
7 Ibid
8 Ibid

 

SIMPLE TIPS

  1. Remember, there is no ‘Delete’ button on the Internet. Think before you post, because even if you delete a post or picture from your profile only seconds after posting it, chances are someone still saw it.

  2. Don’t broadcast your location. Location or geo-tagging features on social networks is not the safest feature to activate. You could be telling a stalker exactly where to find you or telling a thief that you are not home.

  3. Connect only with people you trust. While some social networks might seem safer for connecting because of the limited personal information shared through them, keep your connections to people you know and trust.

  4. Keep certain things private from everyone. Certain information should be kept completely off your social networks to begin with. While it’s fun to have everyone wish you a happy birthday, or for long-lost friends to reconnect with you online, listing your date of birth with your full name and address gives potential identity thieves pertinent information. Other things to keep private includes sensitive pictures or information about friends and family. Just because you think something is amusing does not mean you should share it with the world.

  5. Speak up if you’re uncomfortable. If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or you think is inappropriate, let him or her know. Likewise, stay open-minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them, and it is important to respect those differences. Also report any instances of cyber bullying you see.

 

RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU

Clicky, a yellow robot, along with brother-and-sister team Nettie and Webster, teach kids what to watch out for online in this interactive website with videos and games.
 
Real-life stories, games, and comics that explore potential online dangers and how to avoid them.
Become an iMentor and promote cyber safety in your home, school, and community.
 

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS FOR PARENTS

As a parent, you have a responsibility to help teach your kids about online safety. But when they’re using sites you’ve never heard of, what do you do?
 
DID YOU KNOW?
  • 95 percent of teens use the Internet.1
  • 77 percent of teens use Facebook.2
  • 53 percent of teens use Instagram.3
  • 24 percent of teens use Twitter.4
  • 10 percent of teens use Tumblr.5
  • The average teen has approximately 300 friends on Facebook and 79 followers on Twitter.6
  • Among Twitter users aged 12 to 17, 64 percent made their tweets public.
  • 19 percent of teen users have posted things they regret, including photos, videos, status updates, tweets, or comments.7
  • Only 18 percent of young adults claim they are comfortable with what their friends post about them online, and 32 percent say that the information about them online is what they choose for the public to see.8
 
1 Pew Research Center, “The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project: Teen Fact Sheet.” September 2012
2 Ibid
3 Pew Research Center, “Social Media Update 2014.” January 2015
4 Pew Research Center, “The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project: Teen Fact Sheet.” September 2012
5 Pew Research Center, “Teens and Libraries in Today’s Digital World.” April 2014
6 Pew Research Center, “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” May 2013
7 Ibid
8 Ibid
 

BE AWARE OF WHAT YOUR KIDS POST ONLINE

Understand the cyber risks kids face when using social media. Talk to your kids about the following risks:
  1. What they are posting: Talk to your kids about the information they post online. Many of them don’t understand the damage they could do to their reputation or future prospects with unkind or angry posts, and compromising photos or videos. Ensure your kids are not sharing or posting:
  • Sensitive information: Sensitive information includes anything that can help a person steal your child’s identity or find them, such as their/your full name, Social Security number, address, birthdate, phone number, or place of birth.
  • Compromising content: This includes photos or status updates that may damage your child’s reputation or future prospects.
  • Unkind or angry content: This includes anything malicious directed at themselves or another person, as well as opinions that are probably better left unshared.
  1. Who they are connecting with: Social media allows kids to connect with their friends, but there is also a risk of connecting with someone they do not know or who is only pretending to be a kid.
  2. What level of privacy they are using: Many social media platforms have privacy settings that allow users to limit who sees their content. There are also settings for location tracking and geo-tagging of photos or statuses.

 

SIMPLE TIPS FOR PARENTS

  1. Talk to your children. Help your children understand the importance of owning their digital lives and only sharing things that will not put them in danger, negatively affect their future, or harm others
  2. Emphasize the concept of credibility to teens: not everything they see on the Internet is true and people on the Internet may not be who they appear to be.
  3. Watch for changes in behavior. If your child suddenly avoids the computer, it may be a sign they are being bullied or stalked online.
  4. Review security settings and privacy policies for the social media sites kids frequent. These settings are frequently updated so check back regularly.

 

RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU

Cybersecurity Awareness Volunteer Education Program (C-SAVE)
The National Cyber Security Alliance developed the C-SAVE program to provide age-appropriate resources to discuss Internet safety with students.
 
This website, run by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is a one-stop shop for online safety resources available to parents, educators, kids, and others.
 
ICE Homeland Security Investigations is one of the leading law enforcement agencies that investigates crimes involving child pornography and the sexual exploitation of minors. Project iGuardian provides resources to help children and teens stay safe online.
 
The Congressionally-mandated CyberTipline, which is part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), receives online child solicitation reports 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Submit an online report or call 1-800-843-5678.
 
ConnectSafely is an organization for everyone engaged in and interested in the impact of social media and mobile technology. You’ll find tips, safety advice, and other resources to promote the safe, effective use of connected technology.