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Walk in to a group of teenagers or youngsters today, you will notice atleast one of them who is disinterested in the ongoing discussions, but more interested in the online group conversation in any one of the dozens of messaging applications available today. Point being that the youngsters today, unlike the 90s kids or even early 2000’s kids to an extent, lead a digital life. Their life can be easily summed up as being more involved in the virtual world than the real one.
Ofcourse they are interacting with humans online (hopefully), but for a reason which I fail to fathom, they find solace and comfort interacting with people when they are not directly facing them in person. Once again, the point being made is everything that people do in their day to day life, youngsters in particular, is more often than not done in the digital world. Their existence in the real world, in some cases, is now limited to eating, relieving themselves and sleeping (among other private stuff) when they are not online (regrettably so).
It may sound that I am probably a bit furious but I am really not. At the end of the day, its their life to do with as they please, isn’t it? I couldn’t care less unless ofcourse, I feel the brunt of something they were directly or indirectly a part of. Sadly, you can’t even blame them since most of them are not even aware as to where they are going wrong. The completely take security for granted oblivious to how taking security for granted is as good as playing with fire.
Insufficient Security Measures
You may have all the security measures in place on your laptop but it wouldn’t mean a thing if most of your time is spent on tablet or mobile. A lot of anti-virus applications are already available on various mobile platforms. However, assuming all security measures are in place by simply installing and updating your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs is a common misconception. In this new online era, it also means protecting your own privacy and and not invading others’ privacy without their consent. That includes the smallest of things like tagging your friend on social network when you “check-in”.
An app called Truecaller helps you find out the identity of any phone number, all over the world. Chances are , you will probably find your number in their database even if you have not registered with them. They have your number when atleast one of the people you know (who has you number stored) have registered with them. You will never find this out as you are never really notified. While you are busy living your life, a complete stranger from another country perhaps, is able to pull up your identity through the number. Although if you do become aware and want to remove your number from the list, thankfully, Truecaller now provides an way for you to delist your number. Do read this post about 6 easy ways to ensure your online privacy and keeping away eavesdroppers.
That appears to be the new motto of the present generation. Sharing where you are, places that you frequent, what do you eat and/or drink, whats your drinking limit, how do you usually react after, your past and present relationships, the people you were or are involved with, your opinions on your job, colleagues and manager. You can see where I am going with this. This is really just a tip of the iceberg. If you take a few minutes of your life and create a list of intimate details of your private life you have shared in the past years, you will realize that you have probably shared so much details that no one has to hire a private investigator to know about your different habits and patterns. Take another minute to assume what if a complete stranger has his hands on all these intimate details you have so openly provided. Not directly, but then, there is no one else to blame either. To say that its creepy and scary to no end, would be such an understatement.
They know, right?
Technology has now become an integral part of everyones life. Everyone uses it in some way or the other every living day. I would even go so far as to say, A 12 year old today probably know more about technology than a 12 year old would have 12 years ago. Technology wasn’t non-existent then, but it has just grown exponentially and has successfully infiltrated into everyones lives over the past few years. In my opinion, there are 3 main reasons why the youngsters refuse to take any initiatives to secure their devices, activities and thereby themselves. Lack of interest, the typical Dont care attitude and Living in denial.
Time to Re-Strategize ?
I believe this would be the perfect time to re-strategize the way we learn about information security. Sure we have a lot of courses on information security, but they are more like professional courses. Courses for information security at basic level should be introduced at school, explaining how living a digital world can put their personal information at risk. And how it obliviates them from real world and distances them from people close to them.
This post does not discourage sharing information with friends and families over social media, however, it is imperative that one is aware as to how that information is open for everyone to read and follow. The topic of Information Security among the teens is highly under-rated. Its time we bring about a change in there.