Lately there have been a lot of buzz about cyberbullying in the news. This is something which hasn’t been in the news before, only the last couple of years. Thats quit logic, the new smartphone wave now reaches the 10 year olds, and sometimes even with kids from let say 7 or 8 years old.
Especially kids are very vulnerable to online threats like cyberbullying and other unwanted behaviour. Kids need to learn how to behave online and need to be educated about privacy matters and the harm you can do for their future of their lives and to others. Nothing new so far. But let me tell you a little story about a girl in my son’s class.
Lets say here name is Anne. Anne is a 13 year old pretty girl from Rotterdam. She looks older then she actually is. High grades, good in sports and a fun loving girl to see. She owns a smartphone…..
Before she owned the device Anne had been complaining that everyone else had a smartphone except herself. Her parents finally accepted that their duaghter was growing up and she basically earned the phone due to good grades an good behaviour. Nothing special so far…. Her parents decided to take the step and thoroughly invested some time in making the decision and do what they as parents had to do. They asked themselves a few questions:
What’s the right age?
Do we buy the latest model?
Prepare and sitting down with her?
Do we Set restrictions on the device?
Subscription, minutes, free texting?
Should you get them a dumb/feature phone instead?
All good questions to ask, and they took some time to figure out the best tactics.
All went well for a while, Anne could handle the responsibility and took notice over the wise tips her parent gave her when she finally got the so much wanted Galaxy S series.
Up to one day, when Anne’s mother noticed different behaviour from her daughter. nervous, frustrated, and constantly checking her smartphone.
Since she had a good relationship with Anne, she decided just to ask if there was anything wrong with her, and if it had anything to do with her owning a smartphone. Anne, denied and just said that she had some trouble concentrating in the classroom since that new kid joined her class. For Anne’s mother however that answer wasn’t good enough! She decided to take a look at Anne’s phone. When Anne’s mother made that decision to take a sneak look she felt a little ashamed for spying on her daughters smartphone, but she knew it was for good reasons. She simply protected her.
NOT THAT EASY
In the next couple of weeks Anne’s mother had plenty of opurtunities to take a look at Anne’s phone, only she had protected her phone with a pincode and/or facial recognition. Weeks went by and Anne’s mother tried to figure out what Anne’s pincode was. No luck, after a few times of trying she almost gave up on it. Although Anne’s behaviour with her smartphone wasn’t that nervous or dedicated anymore.
One day the family came back from a weekend at their summerhouse. After 2 hours of driving, Anne who was sitting in the backseat of the car fel asleep. She had just unlocked her smartphone with the facial recognition feature. Anne’s mother immediately understood this was her chance to take a look at her daughters smartphone! She asked her husband to stop at a restaurant. She took the phone carefully from Anne’s hand, but the phone was locked already! She then did something very clever, she carefully positioned the phone before her sleeping daughters face and tried to unlock the phone. It worked! Anne’s father who had been viewing this remarkable behaviour of his wife, was too surprised to say anything. ” I will explain later” she said while driving from the restaurant back home.
15 minutes went by, 25 minutes went by. Then Anne’s father asked his wife what the hell she was doing! She explained, and Anne’s father could understand why his wife wanted to take a look at their daughters Smartphone, although he wasn’t very happy with the situation. A few minutes later she placed the phone on the backseat next to her sleeping daughter. And was quiet, very quiet!
Anne’s mother felt ashamed, how on earth could she betrayed her daughter this way by spying on her phone! Anne’s smartphone didn’t reveal any behaviour she shouldn’t do online. Anne was the perfect daughter she had always been. Why didn’t she trust her? Why was she so curious what was going on? Was it imagination? She had a lot to explain.
A LESSON LEARNED
The NSA wants to behave like a parent. They want to be able to defend western territory. They want to know what YOUR kid is doing online, day in day out. They want to know what YOU, reading this blog are are doing day in day out, worldwide. All governments want this. Lets not forget the Google’s and the Facebooks of our time, they also want to know everything about YOU!
And last but not least, maybe even parents want to know everything what their kids are doing online.
There is a little voyeur in everybody….
CEO Omerta Information Security