Lesson 11 Safe Practices Stranger accesses home computer, spies on Utah County family October 27, 2014 ©KSL ELK RIDGE, Utah County—If you have a computer with a camera on it, it could happen to you. Before you know what’s going on, a stranger is peering inside your home. It happened to Jennifer Bylund, a mother of two who lives in Elk Ridge. With a sparse population and wide open spaces, it’s not exactly a crime-ridden community. But Bylund discovered criminals don’t always knock down doors to infiltrate our lives. “I didn’t know he could get in that easily. It’s scary,” she said. As she sat in front of her computer monitor, with her children nearby, she watched in horror as a stranger turned on the camera and spied on her from her computer. “He saw my kids, he saw my home,” she said. “Yeah, I was shocked, I was shocked that somebody could actually do that.” “It’s a blatant invasion of privacy is what that is. They’re looking into your home,” said FBI special agent James Lamadrid. The FBI says there are thousands of similar complaints across the country. “It’s very simple, it’s very straightforward; they want your money,” he said. Bylund was victimized by a tech support scam. She’d responded to a pop-up ad that warned about problems with her computer. “Because I was paying my bills, it made me worried, so I gave them a call,” she told KSL Investigator Debbie Dujanovic. Besides sending phony pop-ups, scammers call potential victims and pretend they’ve detected suspicious activity that must be addressed immediately. Concerned computer owners then often grant a scammer remote access to their computer, believing there is a problem that needs to be fixed. “I allowed him to get on. All he needed was my email address, my birthday and my first and last name,” said Bylund. As victims watch the monitor, the FBI says scammers remotely access the computer and may do things that convince the victim there’s a problem. “They change the font from white to red, which is very simple to do, and everyone thinks red is bad so when you get that on a computer you think, ‘Oh my goodness, something is wrong with my laptop,’” Lamadrid said. The scammer will turn on the camera as a way to scare a victim to purchase bogus security software. Bylund didn’t fall for it, and after the man asked her for her credit card number to cover his $200 repair fee, she hung up. But by then the scammer had full access to her computer, including personal information, family photos, and the camera that was still on. She turned off the computer and took it to a real computer expert to make sure it was safe to turn back on. She doesn’t know whether the scammer downloaded her personal information for later use, but she does have her family’s privacy back. “What world do we live in where people can actually look into our houses and see our families without our permission. It’s really sad,” she said. Contacted by computer? File a complaint at IC3.gov. Contacted by phone? File a complaint at FTC.gov. Protecting your family Don’t click on suspicious links. This could download malware or lead to phony pop-up warnings of suspicious activity. Don’t share personal information, passwords or grant remote access to someone who contacts you out of the blue. If you’re concerned about someone gaining remote access to the camera on your computer, place a sticky note over the lens. Keep anti-virus software updated. Scan your computer for viruses. Learning Outcomes 11.1 Safe practices when online. Keep your guard up. 11.2 Understand personal responsibilities. Define and describe phishing, spamming, flaming, cyber-bullying, libel, and slander. 11.3 Understand global responsibilities. Define and describe censorship, filtering, intellectual property, piracy, copyright, licensing, and creative commons. 11.1: Safe Practices Keep your guard up. So far, you have learned about the different ways that harm can come to your documents and your hardware through the sharing of files, e-mail, and various resources on the Internet. You learned that your computer hardware and software are not safe unless you take steps to protect them. What about your own personal safety? The Internet was designed to allow for free exchange of information and ideas. Along with this free exchange of information and ideas there are safety issues that you must be aware of when using the Internet. Children The Internet is a great place if used wisely. Unfortunately, there is also much that is harmful to children and people in general. A great website for kids to learn how to stay safe is www.netsmartzkids.org. Shopping When shopping online, look for the padlock. This represents a secure web site and it is safe to enter your credit card information. Also, look for the https://. The s in the URL means that the web site has taken measures to encrypt your information to keep it safe from theft. E-mail Don’t share your e-mail with just anyone! Companies collect and sell e-mail addresses to other companies for the purpose of sending spam. Also, it is not wise to share your email address with people you have met online through chat or games. People you meet online may not be who they say they are. Finally, if you receive an inappropriate email from anyone, please let your parents know. Cyber bullying is becoming a big issue for people. If you are being bullied, don’t suffer in silence! Tell someone, tell a trusted adult such as a parent, a teacher, a school counselor, etc. Check out these websites for more information: The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission, is a government website with great information: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams A couple of years ago, I received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. He said I had a serious issue with my computer and he was calling to fix it. It turned out that he planted something on my computer that stole my personal information. Here is information on what to do if someone calls you claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support: http://blogs.microsoft.com/cybertrust/2014/02/19/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-techsupport-scams/ Chat Rooms In chat rooms, messages are keyed in using the keyboard in real time. This means that you are talking to someone who is on the Internet at the same time you are. Some chat rooms may show information about a person, or a profile of each person, currently in the chat room with you. But profiles can be falsified. Do not assume that what you see and read in someone’s profile is true. The person may tell you he or she is sixteen years old when he or she may actually be sixty-six years old. If you chat with someone you met online, do not assume they are telling you the truth. A chat room is a perfect place to exaggerate or to be someone else for a while. Anyone can fake it in a chat room. Along with being wary of talking with unknown people, be aware that some people hang out in chat rooms, but rarely join the conversation. These people can read what is written and may be looking for opportunities to take advantage of others. But there are ways to safeguard yourself. One important thing to remember is to never tell people your personal information (address, phone number, last name, school you attend). Be cautious of those attempting to get such information from you. Another way to remain anonymous is by choosing a chat name that does not reveal too much. When selecting a name, think about what your login name says about you. For example, “Tinkerbell 16” could tell a criminal that you are a girl and that you are probably a teenager. Protect yourself by knowing your friends’ usernames. Anytime you are having a conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave the conversation. And do not hesitate to involve adults for help, like a parent or a teacher. It is much safer to set up a private room where you invite only your friends. Always check the username before inviting that person in. When in doubt, refuse entry to the person. Proper netiquette rules apply in all chat rooms. Netiquette is a combination of net (meaning Internet) and etiquette (meaning proper behavior). Be courteous; watch your language and the tone of voice in your writing. Sarcasm is particularly hard to recognize online, so be careful not to write something sarcastically if you think it might be taken seriously. Most importantly, do not write anything that is offensive or degrading. Online Dating Like chat rooms, online dating services can also be very dangerous because it is easy for people to exaggerate the truth or mislead and take advantage of others. Generally, these sites only allow people who are over the age of eighteen to join. Never agree to meet someone alone whom you have only met online and make certain your parents or guardians know about any relationship that develops online. Gambling The Internet has made it so people can bet on just about anything and everything, from cockroach races to whether your first baby will be a boy or a girl. Many states have outlawed any sort of gambling, including online gambling, altogether. In states where gambling is legal, most have made it illegal for anyone under eighteen years old. All too often, people who do gamble become addicted, and the effects can be devastating. I watched a very close family member get drawn into a gambling addiction over several years that eventually became one cause of his divorce. He reached a point where he could not think clearly and chose gambling over providing food for his family. Unfortunately, it was common for him to drop $1,000 on gambling while his wife and children were going without food, warm clothing, or a working car. A study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors reports that people who use the Internet to gamble are more likely to have “problematic” or “pathological” gambling problems compared to those who gamble in casinos (Ladd & Petry, 2002, 76–79). Pornography While the Internet has made available all sorts of great information, it has also brought some harmful things as well. Unfortunately, pornography has become a very real danger on the Internet. Viewing pornography will lead to horrible consequences. A few years ago, I worked with a young man who had a wife and two very young children at home. He used company equipment to download pornographic material. His work suffered, his attitude toward his coworkers changed, and his overall attitude toward life changed, making him a difficult person to work with. After several warnings and being sent to counseling, he would not quit viewing pornography. He ended up being fired. Like gambling, pornography can become an addiction. This addiction can destroy careers, families, and self-esteem. Addictions can be overcome, but it may take years of hard work and at great cost. The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 has strict penalties for people who create, store, or distribute pornography that involves minors. Remember that a minor is anyone under the age of eighteen. Even if minors agree to being photographed or if the picture was taken by another minor, it is still a violation of the law. Forwarding obscene pictures or even having them on a computer or cellphone can also result in legal trouble. If a school finds out that some of its students are involved in pornography, those involved will likely face harsh penalties that may include suspension or expulsion. In addition, the problem is not just a school problem; the law requires that the school hand the students involved over to police. Although it is illegal to market pornographic materials to minors, these materials are so prevalent online that you will still need to take some steps to avoid them. The first and most important step is to involve your parents or guardians. They should know what sites you are visiting and what other people are sending to you. Most search engines have a preference setting which can be set to filter out a good portion of inappropriate materials. There are also online filtering programs available (click the link below for a free filtering program) that will block sites with improper content. If you receive inappropriate material through your e-mail or on a cellphone, you should immediately speak with a parent, guardian, or school official. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/ 11.2: Personal Responsibilities Define and describe vocabulary. So, just what is your personal responsibility? The online community created a new word for this called netiquette. At no point is it ever appropriate to spam, flame, cyberbully, libel, or slander another individual or company! Understand the vocabulary words below and don’t do them! Phishing Wikipedia.org says: “Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” In other words, the e-mail or pop-up ad is asking for your information. A couple of years ago, a pop-up ad appeared on my students’ computers in my classroom. The ad said “Congratulations, you won!” When a student clicked on the button, a screen appeared that asked for his name, address, and phone number. Since then, phishing scams have gotten more and more sophisticated. Always be more cautious about everything online until you learn more. Spamming Spam is unsolicited and unwanted e-mail messages—lots and lots of junk e-mail. Chances are that you get spam in your e-mail all the time. Some spam can even be very filthy messages. When you are on a network, your network administrator will filter most of the messages; however, some still make it through to your Inbox. On your home computer, all you can do is click the spam or junk mail button. Unfortunately, you still see the subject line before deleting and can be left with an ugly picture in your mind. You can also call your ISP and make a complaint. You will need to keep the offending e-mail message so you can forward it on to your ISP. Then you can permanently delete it. Flaming Wikipedia.org says: “Flaming is a hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users, often involving the use of profanity.” It is never appropriate to post insulting and abusive comments about others online! Cyberbullying The anonymity of cyberspace sometimes makes people say hateful or hurtful things that they normally would not say if the person were standing right in front of them. Cyberbullying happens when people gossip, pass rumors, threaten, or harass using technology. Through the use of computers, Internet, and cellphones, people sometimes forget that they are talking to or about real people with feelings. Cyberbullying is a huge issue facing schools today. All schools have a zero-tolerance policy regarding it. If you are being bullied by someone, be sure to keep the texts, e-mails, or messages and show them to an adult. Many times bullies are not punished because victims do not tell on them. You can stop being a victim. Tell someone! Many kids think making fun of others or passing rumors online is not a big deal. In some cases, this could be considered libel, which is against the law and can carry stiff penalties. If you are part of the problem, stop! Pretend that the person you are bullying is someone in your family. How would you feel if your little sister were the victim? Being a teenager is hard. Do not make it harder for someone else. Check out this video: Cyberbullying: You Can’t Take It Back https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLP3TIl_Hek Check out NetSmartz Workshop http://www.netsmartz.org/resources/reallife.htm Cyberbullying is using a computer and the Internet to harass, threaten, embarrass, or humiliate another person. Most people are familiar with face-to-face bullying. At school or work, people can get away from bullies by going home. Not so easy now with cyberbullying. Every time someone turns on a computer on and enters the Internet, there is the possibility of encountering a cyberbully. This is a growing problem nationwide. If you are being bullied, tell a parent! Tell a teacher! Tell someone! You do not have to live with it! Check out the website below for more information on cyberbullying. http://teenadvice.about.com/od/schoolviolence/a/cyberbullying1.htm Libel Written words or images which degrade or injure another person’s reputation or good name are called libel. You may have heard it phrased as defamation of character. The law says that it must have been published, false, and injurious before you can sue another person. Slander Slander, on the other hand, is the oral or verbal defamation of someone’s reputation. Telling one or more people an untruth about another person is slander, and it is morally and legally wrong! 11.3: Global Responsibilities Define and describe vocabulary Censorship Wikipedia.org says: “Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.” A couple of years ago, I went to China. Whenever something came on TV (we were watching CNN) that the government didn’t like, our TV screen in the hotel would go black. A few seconds later or when the story was over, the picture would appear again. This was censorship. Filtering Filtering is allowing in only information or websites that are needed for the job and excluding information and websites with questionable content. You may have experienced this at school. For example, YouTube and Facebook may be unavailable because your school district has filtered it out. Intellectual property Wikipedia.org says: “Intellectual property is a legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Examples of intellectual property include music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Under intellectual property laws, owners of intellectual property are granted certain exclusive rights. Some common types of intellectual property rights are copyright, patents, and industrial design rights; and the rights that protect trademarks, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.” Piracy The illegal copying and use of computer software and digital media such as music and movies is called piracy. According to the software license agreement, computer software developers give you the right to make a backup copy of the software CD in the event the original CD is damaged. Where people get into trouble is the illegal sharing of software, games, music, and movies. Do not make a copy and loan or give it to your friends! If they like the game, music, or movie that much, they need to buy their own copies! Copyright Wikipedia.org says: “Copyright is a form of intellectual property and is the legal right created by law that grants the creator of an original work the exclusive rights to its use and distribution with the intention of enabling the creator to receive compensation for their intellectual effort.” For example: A photographer owns the intellectual property rights of the pictures he took, even if the pictures were of you. Licensing I purchased some computer software a few months ago. Before I broke the seal that kept the box closed, I noticed some writing that said, “By opening this product I was agreeing to the terms of the software license.” In other words, once the seal was broken I was under contract with the company to comply with their license agreement even if I had not read the license agreement. Most software license agreements will tell you that you can install the software on computers that you personally own. That means that you cannot install it on your friend’s computer even if you use his computer some of the time. Read the license agreement even if you don’t understand all of it now. Creative Commons Creative commons are additions to copyright licenses that provide rules for the public use of copyrighted intellectual property. It helps the copyrighted owner of the property maintain control of the property while giving others license to use and develop his or her own products. Ask Ms. Revoir to play the video called CyberSafety by Films Media Group (19 minutes).