Modern inconveniences: How to protect yourself digitally

Norbert Almeida tells the audience how to keep their kids safe online


Our Correspondent November 29, 2015
PHOTO: AYSHA SALEEM/ EXPRESS

KARACHI: Addressind the audience on the question of how to keep their children safe in the digital world, physical security disaster management expert Norbert Almeida pointed out that anything uploaded on the internet cannot be deleted.

Conducting an interactive session with more than 100 participants, including parents, teachers and college students, on the second day of the School of Tomorrow conference, he shared three case studies from Karachi, in which social media and parenting styles were connected.

"How can we allow our children to talk to strangers and be friends with them on Facebook while we ourselves stop them from talking to strangers on the streets," he said, asking parents to keep an eye on their children's Facebook activities and what friends they make.

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Speaking about how technology has changed in recent years and made the world shrink into our palms, he explained that mobile phones and the data we store on them are also not safe. "We should keep a check and balance on our children's passwords on mobile and social media platforms, at least till they're teenagers," he said, giving the example of a case in Karachi where a teenage boy was kidnapped by a Facebook friend.

Comparing physical dangers to digital dangers, Almeida presented some facts and advised changing passwords frequently. "We keep the same passwords of different email addresses or our computers for years and give easy access to our friends," he added, questioning why people do not understand that their data can be used against them.

Sharing a personal experience, he told the audience how he received some messages from a friend who lives in Australia to transfer some money. "I doubted those messages and just asked a personal question, which he was not able to answer, which proved that the message was sent by someone else who had accessed my friend's Facebook," he said.

The world is getting smarter; if people are getting technologies, anti-viruses, back-ups, passwords and pin codes, then these digital criminals are also getting smarter and using all these tactics, he said. According to Almeida, Google is the best helper for everyone, it helps us to solve our issues and at the same time also helps hack someone's email address. He explained to the parents how access to the internet has pros and cons for their teenage children.

The best way to keep your child safe is to keep monitoring and sharing problems with children. "Parents should keep computers in common places and keep a check and balance on what their child doing," he suggested.

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