Sorry, I am a bit late to celebrate Internet Safety Month; that was June and I obviously missed that boat. That is ok, as to tell the truth: I really didn’t care about celebrating it.
As you should know by now, at ITSPmagazine we care about cyber safety and awareness very much, not just one day or one month out of the whole year; we are on a cyber education and awareness mission 365 days per year. It is quite a demanding and stressful job, as many cybersecurity experts would confirm, but somebody has to do it and we are happy to be part of the good team that meets and operates at the intersection of IT Security and Society.
Despite all the bad news you might read and hear whenever something happens related to the cyber society we live in, there are many incredible, life-changing, positive aspects that a connected society brings to our daily lives.
All we need to do is understand how things work and use them to improve our lives.
All we need for this to happen is knowledge and education.
All we need is to pass such knowledge on to everyone we know and meet.
All we need are experts, technologists, journalists, and educators of all sorts to make it happen.
All we need is society to take an active role in cybersecurity and cyber safety.
In today’s podcast, Sean Martin and I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with one of those people who have been doing this successfully for many years: Katie Lindenoll.
There’s a good chance you already know who she is, but in case you do not know her, Katie is an Emmy Award-winning TV personality, writer, technology expert, global technology consultant and one of the leading women in the field of technology - and let me add, she is a lovely person, and at ITSPmagazine we love to talk to nice people.
So, first of all, what kind of sorcery is this digital footprint we talk about?
Also known as a digital shadow, a digital footprint refers to one's unique set of traceable digital activities, actions, contributions and communications that are manifested on the Internet or on digital devices.
Why does it matter? Well because this digital footprint is you. It is the digital you online and the bad wolves can smell you, follow you and even hunt you down. Am I kidding? Nope, not even a little bit.
Recently, Allstate published the result of their Digital Safety Survey, which found that there’s a gap between what Americans think they know and what they actually know about managing their digital data footprint.
Here are some fun stats to get the conversation started:
Though the average person has about 150 online accounts, 87% of our survey respondents either thought they had under 50 or had no idea.
Almost half of Americans have had their personal information compromised online (47%). Of those affected, 37% had unauthorized charges on their bank statement and 21% had to delete their account(s).
Those who are younger are at a higher risk of having their information stolen as they tend to be less informed, riskier with the information they share online and take less steps to protect themselves.
Are you surprised? I hope not.
Am I surprised? Not even a bit.
Should we all be concerned? Hell yes!
That’s why Allstate partnered with Katie and launched HiddenWorldofData.Allstate.com, an education resource that gives consumers tips and tricks to protect their information while doing everyday things like sharing on social media and shopping online.
Katie, just like us, believes that those who have that knowledge and a platform - any platform, big or small - should do their part in educating people. Especially as journalists, we should carry out that social responsibility that is intrinsic to our profession and behave with the integrity that makes being a journalist such an honor.
When you have an audience that looks up to you and ends up making decisions that can affect their lives, based on what advice you give them to do, you have great power and you know what comes with that… great responsibility.
But we are not going to be able to educate people unless we do what we do with passion and integrity, and make technology understandable by everyone.
I believe you will find this conversation enjoyable, educational, thought-provoking and inspiring, and I am looking forward to many more conversations with Katie.
Let’s start with this. Shall we?
Enjoy the podcast, listen to it carefully, and share it recklessly!
* If you have read my introduction above, you can go directly to the conversation by skipping ahead to 5':12'' - Enjoy!