Questions (and answers) for parents about kids’ online safety

technology, online safety, parents

We often pose a few questions to parents – in conversations, forums, research and elsewhere – about how much they know about their children’s online safety practices. Along with sharing these queries, we thought it might be a good idea to suggest some baseline guidance in response, as well. Have you talked lately with your kids about what they’re doing online? Do you worry that your kids know more about Read more »

New e-book shares views on youth and digital media

online safety, youths, education

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Youth and Media this week released a new e-book, “Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media.” A first-of-its kind volume, the e-book combines essays from 30 academics, government officials, technology industry members and practitioners, with visual contributions from 25 young people, all from more than a dozen countries. The book is a result of the Digitally Connected Symposium, co-sponsored by Read more »

Experts: Don’t blame the victims of youth ‘selfies’

(This is the second of two posts on recently released research about inappropriate images featuring youth.) It’s a mistake to blame young people who take sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves when those images end up being redistributed over the Internet, according to experts who gathered in London this week to discuss a new study by the U.K.-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). It’s also a mistake to assume that Read more »

New data on youth ‘nudes’ show highly disturbing trend

Online safety, selfies, youths

Young people around the globe are taking and sharing nude photos and videos of themselves, and the phenomenon appears to be occurring among younger and younger age groups, according to results from a new study sponsored by Microsoft. Data released today by the U.K.-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) show 17.5 percent of the more than 3,800 sexually explicit photos and videos analyzed by IWF late last year were produced by Read more »

Safer Internet Day 2015: This year, ‘Do 1 (More) Thing’ to stay safer online

privacy, online safety

One year ago today, Microsoft asked people across the globe to #Do1Thing to stay safer and more secure online by taking what may have been a first step toward safeguarding their digital lifestyles. Today, on Safer Internet Day 2015, we want everyone to add to last year’s pledges and #Do1MoreThing to become cyber savvy. In addition, we’re launching new interactive resources for young people on the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub to Read more »

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 »