April 4, 2011, the EastWest Institute hosted the International Youth and Technology Forum in partnership with Columbia University, where the event was held. It brought together everyone from cybersecurity experts and activists to government representatives and Girl Scouts to lay the groundwork for a new alliance aimed to protect – and empower – kids and teenagers in our digital world. Dominique Napolitano, a fifteen year-old Long Island Girl Scout who has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, describing the new risks kids face online from “sexting” to cyber bullying, took part in the International Youth and Technology Forum .
In her own words
We need to empower youth to take this problem into our own hands and find solutions that will work for us”. This is of course why we have to be actively involved in Digital Citizenship initiatives in our schools and community organisations. People of all ages have to become better “digital citizens,” capable of applying real-world knowledge, ethics and personal responsibility to cyberspace.
Here’s the trick. While we may well be learning, engaging, and keeping up-to-date with online tools, and working with students to pursue good digital actions, do we remember to also cover off security? James Lyne, Director of Technology Safety at Sophos, warns that cyber criminals fueled by organized crime are “winning the battle for the internet,” deploying about 95,000 bits of malicious code to threaten consumers each day, making it urgent that we ensure best practices and update our awareness as best we can.
That’s of course where my knowledge falls a bit thin – and I have to rely on the services of companies to provide me with tools/software/networks for security. I have no ‘hacking’ knowlege. I can’t do anything illegal myself, and have no way of preventing hackers other than by deploying third-party solutions (and these will only work against very mild intrusions anyway!).
Perhaps governments and citizens need to pressure companies to better protect online privacy and safety? Perhaps there is no solution? What advice can we give to our students? This is where I need help from someone more knowledgeable!
On May 31, 2011 in London, EWI’s first International Youth Congress on Digital Safety and Citizenship, which will include many forum participants, will precede EWI’s Second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit (June 1-2)
This interview with James Lyne from Sophos left me thinking I really need to learn more about this field!