This morning at the Cyber Startup Summit, the first Keynote speech took place presented by the world renowned CyberPsychologist Dr Mary Aiken. Dr Aiken mentioned that we all act differently when we use technology, and this is especially true when it comes to criminals. In the real world criminal won’t change their behaviour or their modus operandi, but when they are online they evolve along with technology.

Dr Aiken also noted the following seven things:

  1. Cyberchondria is growing and it is basically online hypochondria, where we search online for solutions to health issues and always take the worst case scenario. I.E. you have a sore throat but and end up thinking that you have a brain tumour.
  2. Vulnerable people going online such as kids, disabled people and people with a mental disability have to be protected, as they can easily be coerced into criminal activity or abused.
  3. Developing infants shouldn’t be plonked in front of a TV or given a mobile phone or tablet as it will effect their spatial awareness and their eyesight.
  4. When kids are online nobody is in charge and kids can do what they want plus they know how to bypass parental controls. You only have to google how to bypass parental controls and you will get a million results.
  5. At the moment children come to dinner table with their phone in their hand, that will soon change and they will be wearing VR headgear instead.
  6. All crimes will soon be some sort of cyber crime.
  7. When bullying takes in the real world it is hard to get evidence, but when cyberbullying takes place you will always find a digital trail.

Near the end of her keynote Dr Aiken mentioned something that is so obvious that you have to wonder why it has not been done. She stated “Why can’t we have an Internet within an Internet for kids where only certain devices can access it”. I have to agree with her and it is a topic that I will come back to.

As Dr Aiken closed her keynote she stated “Let’s remember cyber security starts at home”. I do hope that the attendees took note of this and if they have children that they start to keep a closer eye on their online activitiies.

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