What has led the fifteen-year-old good boy Martin, “Marty”, to filming himself with his phone in situations that give you chills? Did he have to die for his parents to find out about the anxious feelings and horrific moments he had experienced before his death? Was he really a pathological freak or a victim of systematic blackmailing?
Last month, at the invitation of my colleagues from the Polish Safer Internet Center, I attended the conference “Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online”. One of the main themes of this event was how the digital world, together with IoT (Internet of Things) affects our lives. I have heard many interesting contributions and discussions, which made me think about the topic again, summarize the findings and add my personal insights and recommendations.
In September this year, the Czech Safer Internet Centre (CZ.NIC), in cooperation with the National Cyber and Information Security Authority, presented an online course called Digital Footprint, intended primarily for children aged 10-13. This interactive game focuses on Internet privacy and associated socio-pathological phenomena such as personal data abuse, sexting, digital privacy or cyberbullying.
Once upon a time, in a company far, far away, they build a bike shed. The actual bike shed. Surprisingly without any bike-shedding. But then they were wondering how to give access to all the cyclists to the yard bike shed was build on. It was not a highly secured area, but still, it was behind gates so no stray dogs or stray cars could enter. They already had a remote-controlled gate via special key fob. But those were expensive, required some tracking, it took quite some time to order a new one and in general there was quite some overhead managing them.
IoT or Internet of Things is a real hype nowadays. Everybody is talking about it and everybody is doing it. Especially companies producing various electronic devices like light bulbs, electric switches, thermometers, scales, CCTV and such. Everything can be smart – even your toilet. All you need to do is to measure something or replace the manual switch with electronic one and connect it to Bluetooth, Zigbee, ZWave or even WiFi and you have a smart device that people will pay a hefty price for. But there are some issues (apart from the obvious one that not all those devices make sense).
During the development of the DNS Knot Resolver, CZ.NIC Labs have managed to reveal a security flaw that makes it possible to bypass DNSSEC security on F5 load balancers and cause denial of service. These products are being used, for example, in some internet banking applications, including those of Czech banks and public authorities. From the perspective of a user attempting to access an internet banking service, a successful attack exploiting this error would manifest in the browser suddenly reporting an “address not found” error and the service becoming unavailable.
The CZ.NIC Association joined the campaign – Family Offline Week with the subtitle “We are not afraid to be offline together“, which will be held this year from May 11 to May 19, 2019. The purpose of the 4th year of the campaign is not only to celebrate the International Family Day, on May 15, but above all to think about the excessive use of digital technology. The uncontrolled use of mobile phones, tablets and computers not only causes health problems but also worsens interpersonal relationships. Children from early age play with tablets and mobiles, often losing social contact with their peers.
In March, a delegation of experts from five different organizations focused on child safety on the Internet and personal data protection from Bosnia and Herzegovina visited our Association.
The CZ.NIC Association used the Safer Internet Day to introduce its new project, aimed at children´s safety online. The CZ.NIC Association acts as a coordinator of the project that started on 1 January 2019, another partner is the Safety Line, ensuring the operation of a helpline. CZ.NIC will continue operating the Czech national hot-line STOPonline.cz, which received a record number of reports last year.