The King County Library System asked me to present on cyber safety topics in a very neat program they have (“When everyone’s talking about it..”). I have been giving two separate, but related presentations and both have been well-received by those who have attended. Mine is but a small part of the KCLS program. I have even attended presentations that I had interest (like the presentation on drones!).
For the most part, I have skipped over the basics in my presentations. There really isn’t much need to talk about “what is email” or “the Internet is a bunch of computers connected together”. We all know that kind of information. Rather, I have been giving practical advice on what to do right now to reduce the risk of having your devices compromised by hackers and reducing the risk of predators accessing your children online. Every bit of information I talk about is real time applicable, from reducing your digital footprint to surfing the Internet while maintaining your privacy. I even show how to use the Tor Browser and encrypted email!
In every presentation, I am seeing parents take notes furiously, ask serious questions, and show a genuine interest in online safety for their families and themselves. For me, this is easy stuff. I have already raised two kids in the digital age of Facebook and cell phones (hint: they survived, but still not easy). And I have investigated cybercriminals (hackers, child pornographers, and others who have used technology to commit crimes). That is the biggest benefit to attendees I try to give. Cram as much pertinent information from what I know into an afternoon or evening presentation that can be put to use right away. Free to anyone.
This is one of the few presentations you can step out the door and put the information to use before you get home.
But if you think this is just another Internet safety program, you are mistaken. I go through how to use social media to help get (or keep) a job, get into (or prevent getting kicked out) of school for families and individuals, and reduce the risk of cyberbullying. I show how easy it is for anyone to be a victim by clicking the wrong link or opening the wrong email along with ways to identify the dangerous links and emails. The term "Third party provider" takes on a whole new meaning to attendees when they are shown the ways their personally identifiable information (PII) can be stolen when stored on third party service providers such as their health insurance company or a toy company.
Most importantly, I answer tough questions. Although I give some guidance on creating family rules and personal use of technology, I leave it up to the invididual and family to decide what is appropriate. My guidance is to show how to create rules on the foundation of safety. Everything else is up to personal morals and values.
I’d like to credit the King County Library System for adding these presentations to their program this year because cyber safety is probably one of the most important topics today. Everything comes down to cyber. Whether it is personal information being leaked or hacked online or a child being lured from home, cyber is serious. You can use technology safely and still enjoy the benefits but to ignore safety is like betting the farm on the Roulette wheel. You never know when your number will come up, but when it does, it will hurt and hurt for a long time.
As far as this program (When everyone's talking about it) goes, KCLS nailed it. I have organized more than a dozen training events and several conferences over the past decade. I know exactly the effort needed to put something like this together and KCLS did it right. If you are in King County, Washington, you really should check out the programs. They do a fantastic job at a price you can't beat anywhere.
As for me, I only have two more talks left. All you need to do is show up. No RSVP. No charge. Free parking.
Again, kudos to KCLS for putting this great program together. Let's do it again next year.
----------------------------------My next talks----------------------------------
Cell Phones in the Family
26809 Pacific Hwy S, Des Moines, WA 98198
April 30, 2016 2PM – 3:30PM
14250 SE Newport Way, Bellevue, WA 98006
June 23, 2016 7PM – 8:30PM