Internet is a very big place for information and the great thing is that it‘s made from its content so everyone can contribute. But anyone can also destroy it too. The main idea is that the internet is evolving all the time like for example stock exchange market and like stock exchange market it can get into better or worse situation.
If we want to describe and predict the evolution of the internet, we should focus on its users. The majority of the internet users comes through these stages. At first the user learns how to use the internet and discovers all its features. Then the user realizes that it‘s a handy thing and tries to incorporate it somehow into his everyday life. After getting some experience with the internet the user tries to create some content for others mostly about his interests and favorite stuff. And only some of the users realize all the risks, threats and dangers and try to somehow control or restrict them. Maybe you‘re wondering, how can this be a loop. As I‘ve said, the internet is always evolving – even now, so there‘s always something new to discover and use.
Internet has a cool feature – anonymity. Everyone is able to identify himself with a name of his choice. That brings some good things and bad things. No one can be sure of your identity unless he knows you already. And if your identity is concealed, your privacy gets protected. The bad thing about this is that if someone tries to misuse this and impersonate someone else or commits a crime online, no one except the internet service provider can track him down.
When we are online, we can experience some risks somehow related to the things I‘ve already mentioned. Criminals seek most often people, who are new to the cyberspace environment and haven‘t built up any experience yet. The stolen information is mostly used to commit real-world crimes like for example robberies. Such people are more vulnerable to the risks and behave more predictably.
To counter fight these risks, more and more online services are introducing privacy control features. These features should limit the automatic information giveaway only to the level, which is set by the user. But here is the problem: Some users do not know of such feature or do not know, how to properly use it. If the privacy control features worked on 100%, the information giveaway would be reduced only to the aware giveaway. It‘s still true, that we should double consider posting anything online – once we‘ve done it, there‘s no way to stop its spreading among people. And many people found handy the grandmother rule: „Post online anything, you‘d say to your grandmother“ And the last thing is to adjust our privacy to match the street concept. When you are walking along the street, other people can see your face, maybe guess your gender or age, but that‘s about it. You wouldn‘t tell them your address or what you are doing or feeling at the moment.
So these are the basics of internet security. Education, building up some experience and considering everything twice before actually doing it. Maybe I‘ve convinced you that internet is only full of the risks. Let me say the truth: It‘s not – you just have to be cautious and use the common sense to prevent the bad guys in cheating you.
I think that we shouldn‘t get paranoid about our security but we shouldn‘t be ignorant too. We should balance somewhere between. I‘ve spoken here about people harming other people using the internet. What I haven‘t mentioned is that the internet can harm you by itself – for example in form of addiction.
Now I think the point has been made. The only question is: how to get the information to the people, who need it? I think that the most perspective way of delivery is through the youngsters. Make them aware and let them make their friends aware and friends of those friends and so on.
OK, thank you for your attention… Are there any questions?
Parents and Online technologies - what the youth panel think about internet
The ultimate loop
The anonymity paradox
It‘s good to be anonymous when you
protect your privacy
It‘s bad to be anonymous when you
commit a crime
locate a criminal
What gets misused
Not enough education / experience
For what purpose
Countermeasure: privacy control
Aware / unaware giveaway
Nothing is black
Nothing is white either
One important thing
„Don‘t let internet harm you“
How to distribute the idea