Thursday, October 4, 2007

Online mayhem mirrors offline mayhem

Via Richard Stiennon's Threat Chaos blog, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology has studied almost 14,000 kids in a "online victimization study" and the answers were reasonably predictable.
No surprises here. In the 7th-8th graders surveyed for instance: 21% have lied online about their age, 10% pretended to be someone else, 7% have circumvented security measures, 5% have used IT devices to cheat on school work.
Richard uses this data point to draw the conclusion that we'll need to spend a lot more resources to control bad behavior in the future because these kids will be in the workforce before we know it.

For some reason, I'm not so pessimistic and I won't be driven by fear. I think that you will have bad behavior in every forum in every region from a SMALL subset of society. If you asked how many kids have lied about their age to try to buy beer: I think a similar percentage would be guilty as charged.

So it 's not all bad, but we can't assume that kids will do the right thing online. Thus we need to teach our kids to defend themselves. Pretty much like we do offline.

Photo Credit: The Grim Reaper Cometh, originally uploaded by Stuck in Customs

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