I recently spoke at an event in Seattle on the security aspects of Social Media, both from the business and personal perspective.  One question which I fielded surrounded whether or not there is risk to children via the various social media networks (i.e., Facebook) or should one accept that if someone really wants to hurt my family they don’t need Twitter to find us.  First the observation is absolutely spot-on – a miscreant doesn’t need Twitter or Facebook to find you, there are a myriad of other means available.  My response:

The reality is that the social networks allow those with malevolent intent to find your family via social networking, a capability that didn’t exist 20 years ago, and this is, therefore, another avenue available to identify and target individuals and their families.  Thus, I think each of us should be mindful of the actions we take in sharing our family’s data, and work to bring the odds of something happening to you or your family to as close to zero as possible.

The next question, also touching on family safety came from the context of whether or not the platform was receiving too much of the blame in the privacy discussion.  The question centered on where I thought the line is between personal responsibility and the responsibility of the platform creator.   My response:

You are responsible for you, and you absolutely should have the expectation that a platform will inform you if they are going to adjust their “settings” in any manner which may adjust your decision making.  Anything less, in my opinion, is social irresponsibility, you must be given the opportunity to remove your data if the regime protecting your data changes. 

Each of us have our own barometer as to what is and isn’t an acceptable level of information being shared on the various online and social media networks.  Investigate and understand how to put the appropriate privacy settings into place.

In sum, our families are our responsibilities, don’t proxy this to anyone or any service provider.  For more of my thoughts on online safety for you and your family, please see the links below.

Thank you for your time.
All the best,


Heidi Miller’s Talk-It-Up – Security and Social Media: SMC Seattle Event
SMC Seattle by Amy Lakhani – June Event Recap:  Social Media Security
Veritate et Virtute:  Online Safety:  Userid’s and Passwords
Veritate et Virtute:  Online Safety:  Looking for the Perfect Work From Home? Caution!
Veritate et Virtute:  Online Safety:  Reputation and Personal Brand
Veritate et Virtute:  Online Safety:  Keeping Theft and Fraud of Your Identity Safe
Veritate et Virtute:  Online Safety:  Cyberstalking a New Phenomena?