eSmart week

eSmart schools

 

eSmart Digital Licence

 

Is your school or library in on the eSmart programme? The Alannah and Madeleine Foundation have done plenty of high calibre research and work to create the eSmart site and the concepts which surround it. Many libraries and school have signed up and talk volubly and enthusiastically about the positive impact of the eSmart concept. It revolves around us all having  a common approach, common language, common understanding about what being online offers us and what we can offer the online word. It fosters a positive , responsible pathway for everyone.

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Young and eSafe

Young and eSafe is a new site created by the Australian government to try and help young people with online safety issues. There is a Facebook page where they can contribute to online safety discussions and ideas:

 

“Check out our site—we’ve got a five part video series, real life stories of young people’s experiences, and expert advice from some people in the know.

Think about how the stories relate to you—be inspired to come up with your own clever solutions for the challenges you or one of your friends may come across online.

Take it to the next level—find us on Facebook and join the conversation. You can be the difference between a positive or negative online experience.”

 

The site will develop and grow as people use it and contribute. YES is the acronym being used for the site and you can find it here.  The site offers help in getting you back on your feet when you have been knocked down online and encourages young people to take responsibility for their own online safety and the safety of others.

Avoid scams

There aren’t really any helpful, comprehensive YouTube video clips on current scams or how to deal with online scams effectively. It is something we need to constantly monitor and we need sound and good information. We are online. We are targets. The world does fight back and we can manage it but we need to know how to do that effectively and what to look out for.

GMail and Yahoo mail seem to protect me the best from scams and spam and so with those email accounts it is never really a problem. A lot of scams and spam arrive by email. Some email clients block those emails really well.

Facebook is very helpful because friends share the latest scams and if you subscribe to the police feed then the police always keep you updated on the sorts of scams and spam to look out for.

On my phone I only answer numbers I know. If I am caught out by accident I end the call. Do I think I am going to miss an important call? No. Anyone who is going to call me has their number in my contacts list. If it is a new organisation or person I put their number in my list. I am quite frank about not answering calls if I don’t know the number. I have that conversation. Most organisations will have details of my email and home address and they know they have multiple ways of contacting me. My financial organisation and my isp have both been really effective at helping me avoid scams and spam by allowing and using multiple contact modes. If important things are happening then I get a direct number or contact from them as they understand my need to avoid scams and spam calls.

My phone has a virus checker which also blocks cold calls. It is not perfect and lets a few through. Phone apps need to be looked at carefully. Mine is pretty good but a couple of times it has cut off bone fide callers as well and I have had to ring back very apologetic! I don’t apologise, though, for protecting myself from this technology scam scourge and I think that’s the point. Be honest, be alert and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

The River Parish Council has a good print out to help you look at scam protection .

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has some sound help with regards to scam watching.

ASIC also gives you some good advice and a list of companies not to deal with.

Protect your privacy

Privacy

Image: Pixabay

I have mentioned BetterCloud before. I subscribe to the email and I always get very good quality tech information. Today was no different. In this morning’s email was a link to an article about 66 ways to protect your privacy. You may know some of them, you may want to try the others and then there might be some you are not sure about and you can investigate. If nothing else this is a lot of solid advice about how to protect your privacy online.

Is Twitter safe?

TwitterI blogged earlier about checking Facebook settings and my instinct was right. Since the compulsory live feed about who is liking what and who is commenting on what, the likes and comments have dropped off significantly and it’s interesting what people have since decided to comment on and react to. A reminder to check bottom right on the cog and you can turn off the right sidebar as I have. You still get birthday notifications! Twitter is a different kettle of fish entirely and it is harder to manage as such for you keep a stable, balanced feed. Every so often there is a spawning of grossness and undesirable which puts good people off and makes it hard then to enjoy the benefits of Twitter. Again, as social media users , we perhaps need to make some requests of the social media companies because we are contributing to their success and the research that goes on around them. Twitter is by far the most efficient means of communicating and getting out information in an emergency. Our farmers use it to get stock and feed to each other during bushfires and floods and to organise the help they need to save their farms. It has been a huge bonus in those times that Twitter is there, the hashtag can be created and people can get the help and/or reassurance they need in times of trouble. Companies can engage with customers in a real way and I won’t forget the day I solved my problem on Twitter while I was waiting on the phone to be put through to resolve a phone company issue. I hadn’t planned it that way. I just was trying to fill in the wait time. I have also used Twitter to help others who are stuck or want immediate help with something. Twitter can be great and providing you follow the hashtags you want it is more than a helpful venue. There are some interesting statistics on brandwatch:

Twitter user statistics

There are 310M monthly active users

A total of 1.3 billion accounts have been created

Of those, 44% made an account and left before ever sending a Tweet

Only 550 million people have ever sent a Tweet

500 million people visit the site each month without logging in

29.2% of US social media users are Twitter users

80% of active users access the site via mobile

208 is the average number of followers

391 million accounts have no followers at all

Katy Perry has the most followers, with over 87m

Journalists make up 24.6% of verified accounts

83% of the world’s leaders are on Twitter

79% of accounts are held outside of the U.S.

Twitter estimates 23m of its active users are actually bots

 

It’s the bots and fake accounts which tend to create the problems. A bot can spam Twitter feeds with anything. Fake accounts can spread whatever they like and are not held accountable. Real people are surprisingly good at finding out who owns these fake accounts. From that point of view Twitter becomes self regulating but there are times when you know that things just should not be there. We have laws and they don’t seem to be able to be applied or they are being ignored. I would think most users do not want to be in a swamp or cesspool and that intermittent aspect of Twitter is doing it harm. The fakeness aspect has to go. There is no kudos in having 40, 000 fake followers and building your name on fake just doesn’t work.

Theoretically children younger than 13 should not be on Twitter without parental consent. Given the nature of some of the material at times then 13 is still too young according to our laws and media ratings. Social media ratings matter and Huffington Post explains why. Trying to pin down the age restrictions is hard and it is explained here in the post and comments on Lisa Nielsan’s blog. Age screening is explained on the Twitter support site. There are other Twitter-like sites which might be more suitable for children. Learning how to use social media effectively is a desirable part of current educational needs in the digital age. education.com has some solid advice about children and Twitter.

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