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FROM EMOPOWERING PARENTS.COM:

PARENTS, GET A CLUE: WHAT TEENS ARE REALLY DOING ONLINE
Plus: Tips on How to Talk to Your Teen about Internet Safety


Amber* got onto Facebook when she was 12. “It was easy," she said with a shrug. "All you have to do is lie about your age and give them your email address.” The teen, who is now 15, said, “I guess I accepted a lot of ‘Friends’ to my list without really knowing who they were.” On social networking sites, the goal is to acquire as many “friends” as possible, a virtual popularity contest that can add up to a whole lot of unknowns. That’s how “Mike,” a man posing as a teen-ager, started messaging Amber. Eventually, he suggested they meet, but before that rendezvous could happen, it emerged that Mike was really a 28-year-old delivery man from a nearby town. Amber had the sense to stop messaging him and remove him from her Friends List, but many other teens and pre-teens haven’t been so fortunate. In Texas, a lawsuit was brought against Myspace by the parents of a fourteen-year-old who was sexually assaulted by a man she met on the social networking site. The suit was dismissed in court, but the problem of how to protect teens online remains.
Dr. Cynthia Kaplan has been the program director of Adolescent Residential Services at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts for more than 15 years. She is also the co-author of the book, Helping Your Troubled Teen: Learn to Recognize, Understand, and Address the Destructive Behaviors of Today’s Teens. “Ten years ago, I used to see kids with profound psychiatric problems,” says Dr. Kaplan. “Now, on any given Monday, I see teenagers who’ve met someone over the Internet and run away. I get people coming into my office whose thirteen-year-old has been posing as an eighteen-year-old online, and invited someone back to her house. The parents wake up in the middle of the night to find a twenty-three-year old man walking into their daughter’s bedroom.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Dangerous Online Habits - The Geography of Cyber Savviness


MAY 5 -Kaspersky Lab_Cybersecurity Mistakes Kaspersky Lab has tested the cyber savviness of more than 18 thousand users worldwide to find out how they behave on the Internet and how risky their online habits are.
The respondents were presented with a series of standard online situations that most users face, and a variety of answers to choose from.Of all the “dangerous” answers selected (i.e., those leading to the loss of digital assets, identity, money, etc.) most were in response to situations where users had to identify a specific cyber threat.76% of those surveyed were unable to distinguish a real web page from a fake (in Mexico the figure reached 82%). When faced with a similar threat on the Web, those users could end up entering their credentials on a phishing page designed to steal credentials. Cybercriminals use the data gathered from these fake sites to access accounts that are then used to distribute advertising, malicious files and links, as well as steal money and confidential data.
Another 75% are careless about checking the format of files they are about to download. Instead of a music file, for example, they may download a potential virus, choosing ‘scr’ (screensaver – a common format for embedding viruses), an executable ‘exe’ file or a ‘zip’ archive with unknown content instead of a secure ‘wma’ file. Residents of the UK (85%) are the most likely to fall for this trick.
READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Parents, Get a Clue: What Teens are Really Doing Online Plus: Tips on How to Talk to Your Teen about Internet Safety

MANILA, MAY 16, 2016 (EMPOWERING PARENTS BLOG) By Elisabeth Wilkins, EP Editor - Amber* got onto Facebook when she was 12. “It was easy," she said with a shrug. "All you have to do is lie about your age and give them your email address.”

The teen, who is now 15, said, “I guess I accepted a lot of ‘Friends’ to my list without really knowing who they were.”

On social networking sites, the goal is to acquire as many “friends” as possible, a virtual popularity contest that can add up to a whole lot of unknowns. That’s how “Mike,” a man posing as a teen-ager, started messaging Amber.

Eventually, he suggested they meet, but before that rendezvous could happen, it emerged that Mike was really a 28-year-old delivery man from a nearby town. Amber had the sense to stop messaging him and remove him from her Friends List, but many other teens and pre-teens haven’t been so fortunate.

In Texas, a lawsuit was brought against Myspace by the parents of a fourteen-year-old who was sexually assaulted by a man she met on the social networking site. The suit was dismissed in court, but the problem of how to protect teens online remains.

Dr. Cynthia Kaplan has been the program director of Adolescent Residential Services at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts for more than 15 years.

She is also the co-author of the book, Helping Your Troubled Teen: Learn to Recognize, Understand, and Address the Destructive Behaviors of Today’s Teens.

“Ten years ago, I used to see kids with profound psychiatric problems,” says Dr. Kaplan. “Now, on any given Monday, I see teenagers who’ve met someone over the Internet and run away. I get people coming into my office whose thirteen-year-old has been posing as an eighteen-year-old online, and invited someone back to her house. The parents wake up in the middle of the night to find a twenty-three-year old man walking into their daughter’s bedroom.”

READ MORE...

“Teens don’t often think about the ‘cons’ of what they post,
so you see them making mistakes publicly and permanently.
I don’t think that teens realize the permanence of what
they publish—it’s pretty impossible to take back.”
—Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired


The Stranger in the Room

EmpoweringParents.com asked Lucy and Josh, two teens who are on both Facebook, how they would know if they were talking to an older person who was posing as a teen-ager. “You just know,” said Lucy. “It’s easy to tell.” “Yeah,” said Josh. “You just steer away from people who you don’t know, who aren’t on your list of friends.”

The Norton Global Online Living Report, released earlier this year, reported some alarming results: 16 percent of kids and teens have been approached by strangers online, and 42 percent have been asked to share personal information over the Internet.

Are Lucy and Josh over-confident, or do they know what they’re talking about? Anastasia Goodstein, the author of <br />“Totally Wired: What Your Teen is Really Doing Online” agreed with what they had to say—for the most part. “I think the whole stranger issue—it’s certainly out there, with predators as well as phishers or scammers.”

Because teens don’t yet have a credit history, they are desirable targets for phishers and scammers, who break into their profiles and steal their identities, taking out credit cards and wracking up thousands of dollars worth of debt. Goodstein went on to say that identity thieves can “scrape” profiles with just a real first and last name and part of an address.

Most parents’ greatest fear when it comes to their kid’s online activities is still the issue of predators. And the fear is real: “If girls put pictures of themselves up, predators are definitely zooming in on them. Teen agers need to be smart,” says Goodstein. “The good news is that most teens are smart. They don’t want to talk to adults; they don’t want to talk to some creepy 50-year-old guy.

Actually, what law enforcement found is that only about five percent of kids engage in that type of contact [after being approached initially].”

The teens and pre-teens to watch closely include kids who are not yet 14 and who are lying to be on Facebook—kids who often tend to be more naďve about people they meet online. Teens who are acting out in other ways—engaging in risky behavior, which may include using drugs and alcohol—should also be watched more carefully.

“These are the teens that are more likely to be vulnerable to advances—or who might even initiate a meeting with an online stranger,” says Goodstein. Most of those meetings happen after there have been a series of contacts and communications made. “It goes back to which kids are going to do this—it’s the same girl that’s going to lie about getting into a college frat party and push those limits.”

What Happens on the Internet, Stays on the Internet…and That’s Part of the Problem

Although the Internet may feel safe, anonymous and impermanent, actually the opposite is true. What teens don’t often realize is that what gets posted on the Internet, stays on the Internet.

The online world for a teen is “Very much about confessing, talking about personal things to an invisible audience,” says Goodstein. “Who knows who it is, but everyone is in that confessional booth with their video camera. When people talk about the generation gap, they often talk about this sense of privacy. The younger generation, because they’ve grown up this way, is much more comfortable putting it out there. They’re creating their own sort of reality show about themselves on their sites.”

Since college recruiters and employers are routinely searching for profiles now before they say “yes” to applicants, a lapse in judgment can haunt teens for a long time to come. “Teens don’t often think about the cons of what they post, so you see them making mistakes publicly and permanently,” says Goodstein. “I don’t think that teens realize the permanence of what they publish—it’s pretty impossible to take back.”


PHOTO FROM AMAZON.COM

While social networking sites are not inherently bad—they provide a place for teens to meet, keep in touch, and hang out, a sort of virtual mall or pizza joint—parents need to be aware of how they work.

If not, says Dr. Kaplan, “The end result is that as a parent, I don’t know what my kid knows. We are already so far behind them it’s frightening. The best message is to talk to them proactively, before they join these sites.”

Tips for Parents:

•Begin conversations about Internet safety as soon as you allow your kids on the Internet. You can use block filtering and monitoring for kids age 6-9 to prevent them from going on to a porn site, for example. But once kids are 12, 13, or 14, they know how to get around “Net Nanny” type programs and turn them off, and how to change browser history, so you need to have those conversations—the sooner, the better.

•Keep the computer in a central space in your house. (When your kids are working on something interesting, be sure to comment on that too.) “You need to understand the technology your child is using, and you need to set up ground rules,” says Dr. Kaplan. Night time is often where the planning of dangerous liaisons happens, when teens are online. “We probably see a kid a month here at McLean who has run away with someone they met online. The important thing is that none of this stuff—computers, cells, iphones—should be in their bedroom.” If you have a child who engages in risky behavior, insist on getting their passwords and “spot checking” their profiles. As a parent, you need to factor in your child’s personality and then decide how closely you will monitor their online activities.

•One way to have a conversation about social networking sites: You can ask your teen to help you set up your profile. “They’ll roll their eyes and act like they can’t believe how dumb you are, but they’ll be secretly pleased that you know they’re good at it,” says Goodstein. Click on privacy settings together and make sure your kids know how to set their default settings from public to private. “If you go on Facebook and find that you or your teen has set your profile to ‘public,’ that’s a great teachable moment. Then you can have the conversation: that the college recruiter can find it, future employers can look at it, anyone can see your profile.” Be sure to talk about what’s appropriate to post, and what’s not.

•People should never, under any circumstances, post personal information like social security numbers, telephone numbers or their address on a profile. This makes them easy targets for phishers, scammers and identity thieves.

•Don’t ever share passwords with anyone: not best friends, boyfriends or girlfriends. There have been cases where the relationship has gone sour and people have gotten revenge through a Myspace or Facebook profile, by posing as the person with whom they have a grudge.

•Let your kids know that the computer keeps a record of online exchanges and where they originate from on the hard drive—even though it looks as if the message “disappears.” Tell your child that they should use the same language online that they would in face-to-face communication. They should never say anything rash or threatening because the emails and instant messages can be downloaded and the child can get into real trouble.

•Teens need to know that they can’t assume everyone online is who they say they are. They should always report any inappropriate material or conversations immediately to their parents and to the social networking site.

Understand that while most of the activity that takes place on Facebook is harmless, many teens are using social networking sites as a place to fill a void, feel popular, and hook up with other users. If you find your child’s profile online, you need to talk with them immediately about the possible consequences of posting their personal information and photos. Says Dr. Kaplan, “The whole idea here is to let the child know that the Internet is ‘public domain’ and that they do not have the privacy or anonymity they think they do.”

*Names of teens in this article have been changed.

About Elisabeth Wilkins, EP Editor
Elisabeth Wilkins is the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.


MANILA BULLETIN (TEMPO)

Dangerous Online Habits: The Geography of Cyber Savviness May. 05 Featured, Tech News 0
Kaspersky Lab_Cybersecurity Mistakes

Kaspersky Lab has tested the cyber savviness of more than 18 thousand users worldwide to find out how they behave on the Internet and how risky their online habits are.

The respondents were presented with a series of standard online situations that most users face, and a variety of answers to choose from.

Of all the “dangerous” answers selected (i.e., those leading to the loss of digital assets, identity, money, etc.) most were in response to situations where users had to identify a specific cyber threat.

76% of those surveyed were unable to distinguish a real web page from a fake (in Mexico the figure reached 82%). When faced with a similar threat on the Web, those users could end up entering their credentials on a phishing page designed to steal credentials.

Cybercriminals use the data gathered from these fake sites to access accounts that are then used to distribute advertising, malicious files and links, as well as steal money and confidential data.

Another 75% are careless about checking the format of files they are about to download. Instead of a music file, for example, they may download a potential virus, choosing ‘scr’ (screensaver – a common format for embedding viruses), an executable ‘exe’ file or a ‘zip’ archive with unknown content instead of a secure ‘wma’ file.

Residents of the UK (85%) are the most likely to fall for this trick.

READ MORE...

The geography of cyber savviness

According to the research results, Germany, Spain and Australia received the best average score for cyber savviness, but even residents of these countries still have a lot to learn.

For example, Germans are more likely to store their passwords in an insecure format – in particular, writing them down on a piece of paper. Spaniards often make unreliable backups on physical media with no encryption or password protection. Meanwhile, Australians are least likely to know if the browser saves the history of their online activity.

The most dangerous variants of the answers were chosen by users in India, Japan and Malaysia, though the residents of each of these countries have their own distinct bad online habits.

Indians appear to be the most gullible – they are more likely to open an attachment in a suspicious email, add anyone who asks to their friend lists and click on links from friends on social networks without checking if they are legitimate. This type of behavior means users in this country are at greater risk of becoming victims of fraud than people in other countries.

The Japanese show a disregard for their own safety: they see no use in making backup copies of files and think they have no confidential data that needs to be protected. In addition, they are less likely to install operating system updates than users in other countries. This false sense of security plays into the hands of criminals – the less effort the user makes to protect himself, the easier it is to penetrate his device and steal his data or money.

Malaysians are quite unconcerned: they use all sorts of devices and applications regardless of their suitability for confidential correspondence. They even install programs on a device according to the principle “next-next-next-agree” without carefully reading the accompanying messages.

In other words, they agree to any additional software and changes to OS settings that these applications push. Most depressing of all is the fact that one third of respondents from this country are also willing to disable an antivirus solution if it blocks the installation of a program. Basically, they give potentially harmful software complete freedom to do whatever it wants on their device.

When it comes to protecting financial data, the most dangerous attitude is demonstrated by users in Russia and the Czech Republic. They are more likely to make a mistake when choosing a secure banking site and also admit that they do not take any additional security measures when making purchases online.

Meanwhile, Filipinos have shown to prefer high-speed downloads more than the actual, regular speed when uploading or downloading files from file sharing sites. This preference unfortunately opens up potential security loopholes that cybercriminals can exploit.

“Users of file sharing services are almost always given two options — to download files slowly or to select the quick download mode.

Our survey showed Filipinos are often guilty of opting for high-speed downloads and that always comes with risks.

When users choose faster download speeds, the file sharing site would often ask them to click on an insecure advertising link or enter the user’s personal details. Doing any of the two opens up a security risk as the user maybe asked to download an app which could be laden with malware or worse yet, a ransomware.

Also, sharing your personal data in such an instance is something we would advise users to avoid, as this could lead to being spammed,” says Anthony Chua, Territory Channel Manager for the Philippines and Singapore at Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia.

The instinct of self-preservation is common to us all. In the real world, most people are ready to protect what is valuable to them.

However, according to the survey, in the virtual world this instinct often fails, even though a user’s private life, identity, property and money still need to be protected when online. Notably, people tend to make different mistakes depending on where they live.

Just how cyber savvy are you? Take the test to find out: https://blog.kaspersky.com/cyber-savvy-quiz/

Survey Methodology


Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab carried out testing in the form of an online survey to check how cyber savvy over 18,000 Internet users are.

Respondents were all over 18 years old from 16 countries around the world. The aim was to learn what their online habits were, whether they could make the right decisions about their cyber security and whether they could recognize a threat when they encountered one.

The geographical distribution and the number of users surveyed

The respondents were asked to consider several potentially dangerous situations, which often occur on the Internet while users are, for example, web surfing, downloading files or using social networks (in total there were eight scenarios, which are all dealt with in this report).


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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