My muddiest point has to do with the ever-moving target of security. The fact that it is muddy, brings attention to it. The volume and diversity of the issue keeps it in the category of “muddy.”
The issue is as current as today’s newspaper. According to L’Express (2012, 11,20), the noted French info magazine, just yesterday the Élysée Palace announced that they have information pointing to a cyber attack by the United States. Facebook, the ubiquitous social network site was the tool used to carry out the attack against the administration of Nicolas Sarkozy during last year’s French elections. As it turns out, American agents reportedly sent friend requests to workers in the French President’s office. Once the target accepted the request, the target was directed to a false Élysée Palace log-on page, prompting them to surrender their username and password to the attacker. The attack was quick and simple. Users were slow to recognize that they had even given up critical security information.
This point is muddy because the means of Phishing and data theft have shifted and will continue to morph into more and more cleaver and veiled ways of getting us to give up the little bits of data that, when pulled together, make us victims.
Our students can fall prey just as easily.
As we introduce our students to more and more online resources and extend to them more easily accessible means of expression online, we need to be certain to help them understand the threats that are before them. Dr. Brown (2012) reminds us, again, that we need to take security very seriously.
As teachers, we have moral and legal obligations to limit the exposure of our students to anything that may harm them, either today or far into the future.
To do so, we need to change and adapt to meet the challenges that are just around the corner. We need to make sure our students do so as well.
Brown, D. (2012) Ask the expert . Retrieved from http://bb7.liberty.edu.
Haquet, C. & Paquette, E. (2012,11,20). Cyberguerre: comment les américains ont piraté l’élysée. L’Express. Retrieved from http://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/high-tech/cyberguerre-comment-les-americains-ont-pirate-l-elysee_361225.html
Mrs. Jimison said:
Your post was so interesting and I appreciated reading the information about Nicolas Sarkosy. Phishing and data theft are definitely scary subjects. Just reading the word phishing causes my stomach to turn. Just the thought that clicking on an email can open one up to data theft is cause for great concern. As wonderful as technology can be, we do need to be away of this mechanical giant and be careful in how we approach it.
Great comments. Your last point defines the mud. Great opportunity and great danger. At its heart it becomes a philosophical question, rather than a pedagogical question. The question, then, is at what point does the best become the enemy of the good? When the struggle lies solely in this realm, the kids lose.
Well said. The digital world and all of its wonders bring with it some very dark and scary woods. We need to have great respect for the power and danger that lies within.
Jennifer Courduff said:
Indeed, the temptation to violate copyright and exploit information is everywhere. And yes, part of it has to do with the fact that teachers do not explain safe and appropriate use of digital resources. This continues to be a big problem. I’d say we need to expose the darkness and bring it into the glorious light. How can it be done?
Part of the solution has to be enforcement. The rest of the equation deals with education. Like the juxtaposition of technology and tactics that strained to find balance in World War I, we need to keep up with student tactics that might attempt to evade ethical procedures by constantly updating our educational measures and enforcement tools.
I agree with you that teachers have a “moral and legal obligation” to ensure that no harm comes to our students through our teaching endeavors. Privacy concerns are major issues in today’s world of technology and our students must be protected from the would-be evil person who would want to harm them at all cost. According to Robinson, Brown and Green (2010) usage of the Internet has “dramatically increased sexual predators’ abilities to contact potential victims” (p. 25) and “one in seven young people” get unwanted or unsolicited sexual advances while online (p. 27). I believe that we must protect our students in all possible manners; however we cannot let these bad people destroy the great educational opportunities offered through technology.
Robinson, L., Brown, A., & Green, T. (2010). Security vs. access; balancing safety and productivity in the digital school. Eugene, OR: ISTE