On February 9, 2021, the world will celebrate the 18th iteration of Safer Internet Day. It’s an opportunity for everyone to recognize the importance of staying safe online. It’s also a reminder that all of us play a part in making the web a safer place.

One of the ways we can observe Safer Internet Day is by helping children and teens navigate social media. Young people might assume that these platforms exist in a vacuum and that their networks consist of legitimate contacts. But it doesn’t work that way. In reality, what users post on social media could follow them for the rest of their lives, and who someone claims to be on Facebook or Twitter might not be true in real life.

Which raises the question: how can we help children and teens safe on social media?

To answer that question, we spoke to several infosec experts about what advice they’d give to young people about protecting their privacy on social media. Here’s what they had to say.

Bob Covello (@BobCovello):

When I think about the advice to give to young people about protecting their privacy online, I wonder, “What can we say that hasn’t already been said?” Also, “What can we say that will not be shrugged off with the response of ‘it won’t happen to me’ or ‘I have nothing to fear because I have nothing to hide?’” My soul darkens when I hear such responses. It is rare that my optimism wanes to such a great degree.

So, let’s look at this a different way.

My advice to young people is as follows:

  • Don’t protect your own privacy; protect everyone else’s privacy.
  • Don’t share that photo without the permission of the person in that photo.
  • Don’t spread that rumor about someone, (Read more...)