Edited By Hua Wang
This volume illuminates the complexity of our modern era, exploring how society can leverage exciting new opportunities whilst recognizing the complex challenges we face in a time of constant change. It helps us understand how we have come to this point and where we may be going so that we may study the opportunities and the dangers, the chances and the risks, that digital media pose in our quest for some version of «the good life».
Chapter Ten: Communicating Online Safety: Protecting Our Good Life on the Net
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Communicating Online Safety
Protecting Our Good Life on the Net1
ROBERT LAROSE, SALEEM ALHABASH, MENGTIANJIANG, RUTH SHILLAIR, HSIN-YI SANDY TSAI,SHELIA R. COTTEN AND NORA J. RIFONMICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, USA
CONCEPTUALIZING ONLINE SAFETY
A succession of news-making online threats introduce online safety behavior—defined as actions that users take to protect their computing devices and themselves from online security threats—as a topic of interest for communication researchers. These episodes highlight the importance of individual safety behavior and the need to motivate users to take protective measures of their own. For example, the Heartbleed bug discovered in April 2014 forced users of many popular websites using Open SSL to encrypt secure transactions to change their passwords. The following month, hacker attacks orchestrated by the Chinese government that preyed upon employees of major U.S. corporations, who opened innocuous-seeming email attachments purportedly from corporate security officers or other trustworthy sources, were revealed. Each day, millions of “phishing” attacks that target consumers with the help of information gleaned from social media sites succeed in implanting malware on the computers of users (National Cyber Security Alliance, McAfee, & JZ Analytics, 2012) and entrapping many of them in fraud (Martin & Rice, 2013). A fifth of U.S. Internet users still lack basic protections, and a third of users worldwide fail to keep security patches updated for popular computer applications such as Word, Java, and Flash (National Cyber Security Alliance et al...
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