Alicia Connected is a book series that follows a group of digital natives as they use technology in a safe and secure manner. They learn from mistakes and help each other learn about the dangers and pitfalls that come with growing up in a digital world. Find out more on how you can purchase Alicia Connected here: Shop
The author of Alicia Connected is a cybersecurity professional that has spent many years in the field teaching and leading in technology. Below are some additional resources for helping children stay safe online.
Learn more about Alicia Connceted and the author here.
Gone are the days where a television show had ratings and was therefore aired at a certain time and on a particular channel. Likewise, movies have had a rating system that allowed watchers to gauge the content of the movie. This dates back as far as 1930’s and was basically a rating on whether the movie was offensive or not. By the late 1960’s we saw ratings more in line with what we are familiar with today. G, PG, R, and X. However, how movies received their rating was very subjective and often influenced. Fun fact, it was Steven Spielberg who helped push a new rating, PG-13, when he was concerned about his Indiana Jones movies being released under the much broader PG rating.
As adults we know how easy it is to push a button and having something arrive at our doorstep within a few hours or a few days. From homes to cars to shampoo, almost anything can be bought online. E-commerce sites link bank and credit card accounts to their shopping experience to make it as easy as possible for you to not only browse and place items in your cart, but to also make that final purchase. You’ll often see advertisements for additional items that are similar to what’s in your cart to boost sales. If you abandon your cart by leaving unpurchased items in it, you may get reminders to finish your purchase. Most e-commerce sites will allow you to setup a subscription or reoccurring purchase in order to make it even easier to get your favorite product delivered to you without even thinking about it. All of this is designed to get you to buy more and buy often.
Today we hold more power in our pocket than the computing power that took humankind to space decades ago. With this power comes a lot of opportunity to participate in a wide digital world. From apps, to games, to social media, to messaging, we generate a lot of data on our devices. This data can be personal information that we would rather not have in the hands of others. Consider the thought of losing your cell phone or tablet and having someone else pick it up and use it. What could they do with your information? Would you be concerned? Many of us would say that we have nothing to hide and wouldn’t be worried about access to our devices by certain people. But at the same time, many of us would not like to have our phone or tablet in the hands of someone we don’t know. The messages, email, and online activity might be benign but it’s still personal.
How many friends do you have on any of your social media accounts? Would you recognize all, most, some, or none of them if you bumped into one of these friends at the mall or in a restaurant? We often "connect" or "friend" someone on a social media platform because there is a shared interest or a shared connection with others. But the reality is some of these “friends” can be a reason for concern. You may be at risk of oversharing details about yourself that can be misused by someone in your network, or a connection you know might become compromised and putting you at risk.
Passwords are the entry into most of our digital world. In some cases, we can use other things that can replace a password like a fingerprint or a face scan. However, pin codes and passwords are still the dominant method of gaining access to your digital world, which is why it is still the top method of attacks against computer systems and the misuse of a person’s account.
Peer pressure is real. Many times, children, and even parents, feel the need to fit in to what they see other people doing. This can be especially true for children trying to find an identity in an increasingly connected world where getting a "Like" can be considered as important as an achievement in the physical world.