Schneier on Security: Internet Safety Talking Points for Schools

E. Why are you penalizing the 95% for the 5%? You don’t do this in other areas of discipline at school. Even though you know some students will use their voices or bodies inappropriately in school, you don’t ban everyone from speaking or moving. You know some students may show up drunk to the prom, yet you don’t cancel the prom because of a few rule breakers. Instead, you assume that most students will act appropriately most of the time and then you enforce reasonable expectations and policies for the occasional few that don’t. To use a historical analogy, it’s the difference between DUI-style policies and flat-out Prohibition (which, if you recall, failed miserably). Just as you don’t put entire schools on lockdown every time there’s a fight in the cafeteria, you need to stop penalizing entire student bodies because of statistically-infrequent, worst-case scenarios.

And there are more…

Sex? Not my kid!

The North Carolina State University professor interviewed parents in an unnamed red state for her book, ???Not My Kid: What Parents Believe About the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers,??? and found an impressive level of denial. ???Teenagers??? actual behaviors,??? she writes, ???do not seem very significant in terms of shaping the sense parents have that their own teens are young, immature, and naive.??? Drug use, vandalism, even pregnancy often fails to destroy this fantasy. The same is true of parents??? own memories about what it was actually like being a teen. At the same time, though, sexual threats are seen as ever present ??? from someone else???s sex-crazed kid, someone else???s corruptive parental influence, someone else???s perversion. Rarely do parents attribute the risk to their own child???s sexual desire or agency. Surprise, surprise.

Skout’s minor problem – Teenagers

The study also contradicts the widely held image of sex abuse in which an adult poses as a teen online to lure minors over with a bait and switch ??? say, promises of playing Xbox that turn into abuse. (Although it???s important to note that it appears in the Skout cases that adults did pose as minors to access the underage portion of the app.) Cases of ???Internet-related child exploitation,??? they report, ???typically involved post-pubescent youth who were aware that they were meeting an adult male for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.??? One study of such cases found that only 5 percent ???were deceived by offenders claiming to be teens or lying about their sexual intentions??? and  73 percent who ???met an offender in person did so more than once.

Why Youth Has an Advantage in Innovation & Why You Want To Be a Learn-It-All

Lets look at some of the specific advantages of youth. First, as mentioned before, without the blinders of past experience, you don???t know what not to try, and therefore, you are willing to attempt things that experienced executives will not consider. Second, you are quick to leverage new technologies and tools way before the incumbent will see an opportunity or a need to pay attention. For me this may be the bigger issue. The rate of change on the Internet is extremely high. If the weapon du jour is constantly changing, being nimble and open-minded far outweighs being experienced. Blink and you are behind. Youth is a competitive weapon.

My generation should repay its good luck

Intergenerational equity is an ugly phrase, but an important concept. And intergenerational equity is not only, or even mainly, about levels of government borrowing and debt. Most parents want to give their children opportunities to live a life better than their own. But when we act together, we aggressively pursue our own interests at the expense of our children and grandchildren: a bizarre paradox of perverse collective action.

Kids Online: the Risks and the Realities

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RISK AND HARM. It might seem like just a semantic distinction, but recognizing the difference between risk and harm is important. Livingston contends that while the risk is real when it comes to being exposed to inappropriate material online, the probability of harm is low. ???The risk remains but the parents??? task is not to eliminate risk but do everything they can to make sure the low probability harm doesn???t happen to their child,??? she says. ???Children have to encounter risks because it???s how they live and learn. It???s how they go out into the world and become resilient.

Schneier on Security: Teenagers and Privacy

Rather than fearing the unknown stranger, young adults are more wary of the “known other” — parents, school teachers, classmates, etc. — for fear of “the potential for the known others to share embarrassing information about them”; 83 percent of the sample group cited at least one known other they wanted to maintain their privacy from; 71 percent cited at least one known adult. Strikingly, seven out of the 10 participants who reported an incident when their privacy was breached said it was “perpetrated by known others.

The kids are alright.

Why texting might be bad for you

Perhaps a better way to view the data is as an illustration of how mobile phones in general, and texting in particular, have taken over the experiential world of the young. An economist might expect that teens deprived of texting would simply substitute another method of communication – – talking, for instance. As it turns out, a significant minority will not. They will behave instead, researchers report, the way people do when deprived of human contact.

“Might,” “bad.”