Tyler Clementi Doesn't Care About Cyber-Bullying Policies

Guest Blogger: Kathleen Keelan, Prevention Consultants, LLC

Tyler ClementiI have a hard time telling the parents of a cyber-bullied student that their school “has a policy.”  I have a hard time explaining to a child that even though they feel like their whole existence is being shattered every day, all day and all night, that their school district really does care about them.    It’s hard to explain to a cyber-bullied student and their parents that the school truly cares that they feel safe.

This I know for sure: the policy is only as good as the people who enforce it.

School officials are scrambling right now due to the “epidemic” of suicides from cyber bullying.  Law enforcement is scrambling right now to define their role in this growing phenomenon.  The National Crime Prevention Council is happy that physical bullying amongst children has declined.  However, the rate of cyber bullying is increasing at an alarming rate.  Right now the NCPS found that among teenagers, more than 43% are victims of cyber bullying.

Do you think that 50% of the kids care about a national law against cyber bullying?  I stood in front of a group of parents last night and tried to explain to them that although there is no program to teach about cyber bullying prevention in their school, there is a policy.  This I know for sure: the policy is only as good as the people who enforce it.  As one mom of a teen who was ruthlessly cyber bullied screamed at the top of her lungs at a school board meeting, “Don’t wave that cyber bullying policy in my face and tell me that is what you are doing to help my son.”

Ellen DeGeneres tearfully proclaimed on her now famous video October 3, 2010 that “Things will get better, and you should be alive to see it.”  We have got to stop hiding behind policies and help assure kids we care that they are alive to see the policies actually help those who are being cyber bullied.

Sileo: Kathleen Keelan is a dear friend of mine and an expert in this subject matter. Kathleen’s point that policy does not automatically guarantee action and even more importantly, that policy is never a replacement for action is one that I deal with every day in the corporate world. Having a policy isn’t good enough. You have to build a culture around that policy that weaves a belief system of action into the very fabric of the organization. Whether we are trying to protect data, our employees or our children, a policy without follow through is but an empty set of words. If you need help with cyber bullying in your school, please contact her on 303-521-5427 or learn more about Prevention Consultants, LLC at their website.

Cyber Bullying: Protect Your Child

Recent events have raised the serious issue of cyber bullying among children and teens. CNN.com just published this article on protecting your children from online bullies and it is a must read for any parent, teen, or internet user. Here is a partial reprint of the article – you can read it on CNN in it’s original format (see link below).

(CNN) — As cyber bullying emerges as a nasty and easy supplement to traditional schoolyard taunts, a raft of online tools have come on the market to help parents prevent it or respond to it.

But experts say common sense parenting and simple awareness about the potential for trouble might be some of the most valuable tools to prevent damaging electronic harassment.

The most simple way to start? Get involved in your child’s online life. Then stay out of the way.

Michael Fertik is CEO of ReputationDefender, which offers free and paid online tools designed to monitor what’s being said about you, or your child, on the Web.

As children are first showing interest in social networking sites like Facebook, parents should ask for their passwords before giving permission, he said.

“It’s very much age-dependent,” he said. “There’s a narrow window of about two years in which most kids are willing to give their parents their passwords. Younger than that they’re not really on the social net and older than that they’re going to find a way to get it done without sharing a password.”

Continue Reading…

53 Charged in New Jersey Identity Theft Crime Ring

According to  as September 16th news release, the U.S. Department of Justice charged 53 individuals in connection with a widespread identity theft and fraud ring in New Jersey.

“The sheer scope of the fraud – and the organization that allegedly committed it – is remarkable,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, was quoted in a news release. “This type of crime puts all of us at risk, not just because of the cost to our financial institutions, but also because of the threat posed by fake identification documents.”

The release goes on to describe the crime ring.

Sang-Hyun Park, a resident of Palisades Park, N.J., was the leader of a criminal organization headquartered in Bergen County, N.J. Park and his co-conspirators (the “Park Criminal Enterprise”) obtained, brokered, and sold identity documents to customers that were used to commit credit card fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, and other crimes. The 43 defendants charged in connection with the enterprise played various roles as Park’s staff, identity brokers, credit build-up team, and collusive merchants, as well as customers seeking fraudulent services. Members of the Park Criminal Enterprise obtained social security cards, most beginning with the prefix “586,” from various brokers.

Take the necessary steps to defend your identity:

  • Check your free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure there are no fraudulent accounts. Often times fraud like this can happen and continue for years without the victim even knowing. The sooner you catch it the easier it is to repair your credit history and in some cases your financial future.
  • Opt out of financial junk mail (pre-approved credit cards, etc.) at www.OptOutPreScreen.com. If you eliminate the problem at the source, it can never bite you.
  • Utilize sophisticated identity monitoring services and catch fraudulent activity before it bankrupts you.
  • Learn more about protecting yourself, your family and your business in Privacy Means Profit.

John Sileo became America’s top Identity Theft Speaker after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His newest Book Privacy Means Profit – Prevent Identity Theft and Secure You and Your Bottom Line, has just been released. His clients include the Department of Defense, the FTC, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

5 Reasons NOT to Buy Our Latest Book!

Privacy Means Profit (Wiley) available in bookstores today!

Here are The Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy It:

You love sharing bank account numbers, surfing habits and customer data with cyber thieves over unprotected wireless networks

You never tempt hackers and con artists by using Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Docs, or other cloud computing platforms to store or communicate private info, personally or professionally.

You bury your head in the sand, insisting that “insider theft” won’t affect your home or business.

You’ve already hardened your laptops and other mobile computing devices in 7 vital ways,  eliminating a major source of both personal and corporate data theft.

You have a “thing” for identity theft recovery costs and would rather invest thousands in recovery than $25 in prevention.

If you want to defend yourself and your business against identity theft, data breach and corporate espionage, then buy a copy of Privacy Means Profit.

Privacy Means Profit

Prevent Identity Theft and Secure You and Your Bottom Line

Privacy Means Profit builds a bridge between good personal privacy habits (protect your wallet, online banking, trash, etc.) with the skills and motivation to protect workplace data (bulletproof your laptop, server, hiring policies, etc.).

In Privacy Means Profit, John Sileo demonstrates how to keep data theft from destroying your bottom line, both personally and professionally. In addition to sharing his gripping tale of losing $300,000 and his business to data breach, John writes about the risks posed by social media, travel theft, workplace identity theft, and how to keep it from happening to you and your business.

Cybercrime on the Rise: Reported Losses over $550 million!

According to a new article in the Wall Street Journal, cybercrime has significantly risen 22.3% in 2009 from 2008. Identity thieves and white collar criminals have taken to the internet and caused over $550 million in reported losses. There were also over 60,000 more complaints of cybercrime in 2009. Many experts say the plummeting economy is responsible for the great rise last year.

The article goes on to discuss the new and more technologically savvy way that criminals are stealing our information.

Criminals’ tactics also are changing, with a growing number of crimes involving malicious applications installed on mobile devices and embedded in news and celebrity gossip Web sites. In this type of crime, Web criminals are using search-engine optimization to allow fake Web sites to rise to the top of searches. When users click on the links or pop-ups, malware or key loggers infect their computers, usually with the intent of hijacking personal and financial information such as bank passwords and account information. Scam artists also are switching from email to social-networking sites to perpetrate “phishing” scams designed to steal sensitive information from victims.

Top scams now include nondelivery of ordered merchandise, fraudulent emails claiming to be from the FBI seeking personal and financial information, identity theft, credit-card fraud, online auction fraud, and job and investment scams. Online auction fraud, which was a top complaint in the past, has declined and losses have fallen as awareness and auction-site security protections have improved, officials said.

In order to minimize your risk, share as little personal and identifying information on the internet as possible. The less that is out there, the less there is to steal. Verify web addresses and don’t click on unknown links or advertisements that come through on email and other sites. If you are the least bit suspicious don’t enter financial information onto the site!

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.