Is life online stifling young people’s self-expression?

Young people have been cautioned: For years, they’ve been told by parents and teachers that whatever they post online will follow them forever, potentially impacting their educational and career prospects. And, youth have taken heed. More and more we hear of social media profiles being “cleaned up” before university applications are submitted, or a young person thinking twice about posting a less-than-flattering photo. But, could all of this digital self-editing Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: Online safety reflections from 2014

At both Microsoft and across the online safety landscape, 2014 marked a year of transition and evolution. The “darker side of the Web” came more fully into view and new voices joined the dialogue, leading several to predict that even more progress may be in store in the year ahead. “For me, 2014 was about moving away from a fear-based, risk-centric approach to online safety to acknowledging that ‘building digital Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: UK leads world in fight against online child sexual abuse material

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading a global charge to stamp out child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, dedicating funding, resources and a personal passion to the effort. Last week in London, the prime minister held the first-ever global summit entitled “#WePROTECT Children Online,” designed to seek coordinated global action, explore technological solutions and create an international network to protect children from online sexual exploitation. The Summit brought together Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: Everyone can exercise S-M-A-R-T online habits

Youth, parents, policymakers, teachers and other adults can all be S-M-A-R-T about staying safer online. That is: savvy about online activities and choices; mindful of actions (and inactions) that may impact one’s self or others, and behave responsibly and appropriately, all with a technology-focus in mind. This was a theme I shared at this month’s Safer Internet Forum (SIF), organized and funded by the European Commission under its Safer Internet Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: Millennials, Baby Boomers, technology & the Internet: new data

Differences in both Internet use and online safety practices can be quite dramatic across generations, results of a Microsoft survey show. Millennials (those born roughly between 1980 and 1992) tend to use the Web quite differently than Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), connecting via multiple devices, being more engaged with social media and, most interestingly, being more concerned about online fraud and scams. Indeed, a finding that Read more »

Four in 10 Americans face regular online fraud attacks: Microsoft survey

Four in 10 people in the U.S. report experiencing weekly and even daily attempts via their personal computers to access their personal information and other valuable data, results of a new Microsoft survey show. Across the range of electronic devices people use today, consumers worry most about their PCs being compromised — and for good reason: 42 percent of Americans report experiencing weekly and even daily efforts by criminals to Read more »

European Union Agency for Network and Information Security marks 10 year anniversary

European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) kicked off in Brussels earlier this month with experts calling for increased cooperation, innovation, information-sharing and a need to grow trust and confidence in the Internet among all individuals and organizations. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), and the third official cyber security month in Europe. Government officials, policymakers, industry experts, academics and members Read more »

INHOPE 2.0: hotline group looks to reinvent itself

Building on its primarily European roots, INHOPE, the international association of Internet hotlines, is seeking a “new path forward,” and is determined to be recognized as a global leader in the fight against online child sexual abuse material (CSAM). “INHOPE is not only an association of European hotlines, but international hotlines,” executive director Russell Chadwick told the newly formed INHOPE Advisory Board last month. “Nothing else matters more to us Read more »

October kicks off cybersecurity awareness month

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Oct. 1 is the start of yet another 31-day period focused on online safety and security. Microsoft has supported National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the U.S. for 11 straight years. This year, NCSAM is further extending its footprint to Europe, Latin America and elsewhere—as we all seek to raise awareness about the best and easiest ways to stay safer and more secure online. In partnership with the National Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: Microsoft honors Lady Gaga’s “Born Brave” youth campers

Any time I get the chance to interact with youth, the experience never disappoints. Last month, a colleague and I had the pleasure of hosting a large-scale focus group to discuss some delicate online safety issues with 32 14-to-18-year-olds. What we learned was not only energizing, but a little surprising, too. Working in collaboration with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), we were invited to Camp Hi-Rock in Massachusetts, Read more »