Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Using Your Voice for Online Safety

As a parent, I have a watchful eye. Since my family is online for a variety of reasons, I worry about spyware, viruses, identity theft and most importantly, my son’s safety. And I’m not just being paranoid. I have a right to be worried and a lot of people agree with me. Here’s why – DigitalCitizens Alliance (DCA) recently conducted a survey as part of their DigitalFamilies Project. It showed that a lot of people are worrying about online safety.
Image: FreeRange
Take a look at the numbers:
-- 55% are worried about malware, spyware, and viruses
-- 20% are worried about illegal, illicit, or stolen content
-- 30% (of people with children) had concerns about their children’s safety online
-- 50% had similar concerns for seniors
-- And 75% felt that identity theft is “extremely important.”

Each of us can and should make a difference to keep our families safe online. But corporate accountability AND action are necessary as well. Internet companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple also need to do what they can to stop the spread of online crime.

And most of us agree, according to the results of the Digital Citizens survey:
-- 19% said Internet companies should “ban bad actors from profiting off of illegal or stolen content”
-- 18% said Internet companies should “better police sites for stolen content”
-- 16% said companies should “ensure legitimate advertising doesn’t end up” on illegal content sites

Problems already exist online. But we can stop it from getting worse by being proactive. Internet companies can help transform the online experience from one where caution is required to one where safety is the norm.

Last month, I participated in a Twitter chat co-hosted by Digital Citizens and 5MinutesForMom.com where we discussed the survey results and people’s concerns with online safety. Consider

It’s worth taking a look to see the online safety concerns other parents have and the tips and tricks that everyone shared.  Look, the year is just beginning. Join me and share your concerns about online safety. Consider signing our petition asking big Internet companies to stand with us in doing their part to support content respect online.

Here’s the link to the petition to make the Internet safer:

Oh and be sure to check the Digital Citizen's website for information on online threats and tips on how to avoid them. Become a digital citizen. Get involved in making the Internet safer!

Here’s the link to their website with some resources:

Investigative Reports
Digital Families Project:

Lastly, consider following me and them on Twitter. I'm at @LisaLFlowers and Digital Citizens is at @4SaferInternet. Let me know you followed me because you read this article so I can be sure to follow you back. See you online!

Oh and here’s the legal stuff: This blog post was sponsored by Digital Citizens

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