It is undeniable that the “computer age” has brought huge benefits to us all but it has also brought new risks.
The pace of technology is unrelenting, what was new yesterday is old today. The risks we face mirrors this development, in new technology and the way we apply that new technology shifts the pattern of our behaviour.
It is generally accepted that 1994 was the dawn of the “computer age“. Today, a mere twenty years on, computers have become essential to the way we live our lives. No other innovation has had such a dramatic affect in such a short period of time. The phenomenal speed and growth of this technology can be best illustrated by the following time lines.
In 1969 the Internet was conceived, today 85% of the worlds population has access to it.
1971 saw the first email delivered, in 2014 over 108 billion were sent.
In August 1991 the first Web site was created “info.cern.ch, in 2014 the figure reached over 1 billion for the first time.
2006 saw Facebook give access to anyone, over the age of 13. There are now 1.28 billion users, with a further 540 million on YouTube and 255 million active Twitter accounts.
The first Smartphone was launched by Apple in 2007. In 2014 there were 1.75 billion Smartphone’s in use worldwide. It is expected that 70% of the worlds population will be using a Smartphone by 2017.
Each of these innovations has brought new risks and increased the opportunities for misuse and Cyber-crime.
Cyber-criminals are able to gain financial rewards through both Cyberdependent crimes, including spreading viruses and other Malware, hacking into systems and launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and
Cyber-enabled crimes (traditional crimes such as fraud, theft, extortion and money laundering, which can be increased in their scale or reach by use of computers, networks or other forms of ICT).
Cyber misuse may involve bullying, stalking and grooming of children. Children may also have access to inappropriate content and contact with people who have harmful intentions.
No individual or body is immune from these risks and no device or system is 100% secure.
We all need to take steps to safeguard ourselves, our family and our businesses. However, it is increasing difficult to keep pace with new threats as they arise.
The following pages contains advice and resources which may help you decrease your risk from these threats.
Not all risks have criminal intent and different threats may apply to different age groups, the only common denominator is that knowledge is the key to protecting yourselves.
Advice for Parent
Advice for Children