At the Crossroads of Media, Culture and Technology

New spot: Addressing the Topic of Digital Hygiene

So, I was talking with one of our editors (Hi, Dan!) not too long ago, and he asked if I would consider starting a new regular column. I am working on the assumption that he asked me because my style is slightly more loose than many of our other writers (and by “loose,” I mean “I am a completely irreverent, goof”).

The topic? Digital hygiene. More specifically, bad digital hygiene.

That’s right–I’ll call out the dumb, the shocking, and the just plain wrong-headed. We’ll have a grand time, and maybe we’ll inspire people to incorporate better digital hygiene in their daily lives.

Yeah, I won’t hold my breath for that one…

But enough introduction–on to the first of our questions:

Dear Digital

Help–I don’t know what to do! My 10-year-old daughter keeps logging into my Facebook account and chatting with people while pretending to be me. I’ve asked her to stop, and told her that I don’t think it’s very funny, but since she has all of my passwords, I don’t know how to stop her from doing it. Now my sister is mad at me, because darling daughter told her that she looked like she was gaining weight! What should I do?

Signed,

Helpless Facebook Mom

Dear Helpless Facebook Mom,

Seriously?!? There are sooooooooo many things wrong with this.

First-off, what is a ten-year-old doing trolling her mom’s Facebook? Kinda creepy…

Secondly Mom, why are you handing out your passwords to a person who can’t even drive yet? Do you trust her to pick up her room and do her homework without prompting? Well then, why on earth are you giving her your passwords? For that matter, why are you giving *anyone* your passwords?

Here’s a fantastic blog post by John Pozadzides about how quickly he can crack your passwords. Now think: if you’ve given people your password, the time a hacker needs could easily be cut down to nothing, if that other person is careless. Symantec has a good article about strong password creation and good security practices. I recommend, for the sake of good digital hygiene, that you read it, and follow its suggestions. In other words, change your passwords, and your daughter won’t be able to pull this prank (duh).

Oh, and maybe you should buy your sister some flowers.

Sincerely,

Digital

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This post is categorized in: Social Media

About Kat Schroeder

Kat is part of Cohort 11 in the MCDM. Her particular interests are technology in everyday life (especially parenting), and multimedia storytelling.

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