Adolescence is a period of development that is associated with rapid growth and marked change physically, psychologically, and emotionally. This phase of development has been associated with puberty and its effects, peer influence, risky behaviors, and a search for self or identity. Various scholars have offered insight into our understanding of this life phase. Erik Erikson identified the search for identity as a central focus of development during adolescence. According to his psychosocial theory, adolescents face a crisis between identity and role confusion (Erikson, 1968). During this time, youth tend to experiment with different selves and explore possible identities; this may involve trying out different roles, as they seek to respond to the question of “who am I” (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2017). Today, much of this experimentation occurs within the context of social media. Many adolescents use media to watch videos, play video games and to communicate with peers through social media networking platforms (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010). This gives young people a vast platform and larger audience to observe and contribute to their conceptualizations of self. Thus, it is important that we seek to understand characteristic behaviors and dispositions associated with this phase in life so that we may appropriately identify and respond to risks associated with their presence and engagement within the cyber world.
Video 1 – Addictiveness of Social Media for Adolescents
While adolescents use the Internet as a space for engagement and exploration, they are often inclined and reinforced to share—rendering themselves vulnerable to the unscrupulous behavior of individuals who misuse and abuse the cyberspace.
” Computers, smartphones, and other devices are invaluable resources that provide individuals of all ages with the unprecedented ability to reach out and interact with the rest of the world. People can do this in a number of ways, including the use of social media or networking sites. Courtesy of social media, individuals can share thoughts, images, activities, or any aspect of their lives. In addition, they can take an anonymous peek into the lives of others, whether they live next door or across the globe. Unfortunately, these networks also pose a security risk to one’s computer, privacy, and even their personal security.”
Follow these tips to help protect against thieves who are following the network traffic and attempting to invade private facets of your life.
Register with caution. During the registration process, provide only necessary information. Do not disclose your birthdate, age, place of birth, or the city where you currently are living. If an email address is required, consider using a new address so that the online social network cannot access your email address book.
Manage your profile. Check privacy settings, usually found on the Settings or Options tabs, to set permissions so that you can control who can review your profile and photos, determine how people can search for you and make comments, and if desired, block certain people from viewing your page.
Choose friends carefully. You may receive a friend request that appears to be from someone you know. In reality, this message may originate from an identify thief who created a fake profile in an attempt to obtain your personal information.
Be leery of urgent requests for help. Avoid responding to emergency pleas for financial assistance from alleged family member. Do not reply to messages concerning lotteries you did not enter and fabulous deals that sound too good to be true.
Cybersecurity and adolescents
Every second, an average of 5,700 Tweets and 41,000 Facebook posts are created. With these impressive numbers, it is no wonder that online social media have become ubiquitous throughout the world. Twitter, Facebook, and other online social networks are popular among all ages. Likewise, media sharing sites, such as YouTube, are popular means of managing and sharing photos, videos, and music.
Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features:
1. Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications.
2. User-generated content, such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions, is the lifeblood of social media.
3. Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization.
4. Social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.
Online social networks can be excellent places to share messages, photos, and videos. They can, however, be risky places to divulge personal information.
When you set up a wireless network, it is important to secure the network so that only your computer and mobile device can connect to it, Unsecured wireless networks can be seen and accessed by neighbors and others nearby, which may make it easier for them to connect to and access the data on the computers and mobile devices on your network.
When you make purchases online, tap or click advertisements, follow links, and complete online forms requesting information about yourself, you are adding to your electronic profile.
Three of the easiest things you can do to be sure of your privacy on social networking sites are:
- Choose a strong password
- Take the time to set your privacy setting to control who can see what
- Always think carefully about any information you choose to share online
Information theft occurs when someone steals your personal information. Both business and home users can fall victim to information theft. For example, an individual first might gain unauthorized access to a computer from you just posting an image of yourself on social media; these images might just be the clues cyber thieves need to access your account. Facebook in particular is one website that scammers and advertisers use to gather information regarding your whereabouts and your personal life.
Example of Occurence
Timeline: July 2017
Targeted Phishing/Malware, Fraudulent Accounts
Summary: Attackers created an incredibly compelling fake persona; a London-based photographer named Mia Ash, and connected with corporate employees. The attacker disseminated a Remote Access Trojan (RAT), called PupyRAT, via these social media honeypot accounts to hijack the controls of victims’ devices. The persona had accounts across several popular social networks.
Timeline: August 2016
Tactic: Fraud & Scams
Summary: ZeroFOX researchers revealed the vast underground world of financial crime on social media, in which scammers prey on the followers of verified banks with fraudulent financial services offerings, including card cracking and money flipping. The scale of the problem is massive, with nearly a quarter-million posts for a single type of scam on a single social network. The problem was found on every major social media channel and results in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses annually.