A call for online safety training: Security is an issue


According to a recent Pew Internet and American Life survey

  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 12% have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
  • 6% have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
  • 6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
  • 4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.

Last year at the Minnesota Cyber Security Summit, I learned that human error, or sometimes laziness, is a top reason for security breaches at a high level. Meaning sometimes even system administrators don’t do what they are supposed to do to keep the network safe. I suspect another element of insecurity at the residential and personal level is that users don’t always know what to do, or not do or who to trust.

I thought this might be an opportunity to talk about Stop – Think – Connect again. It’s a federal effort to get users thinking, interested in and deploying online protection. One of the points made at the Summit last year is that personal online security is a public safety concern because breaches can infect so many and are spread from machine to machine through vulnerabilities.