I’m participating in Trend Micro’s Digital Joneses Study, a year-long project that brings together bloggers and their families to “examine issues affecting individual members of a modern, digitally-connected household.”
(One notable Jones includes one of my fellow Cast of Dads co-hosts, Michael Sheehan of HighTechDad. The rest are mommies.)
The Internet security provider hopes to educate families on how to maximize all the good things of the Internet, while keeping the household safe from online threats.
I don’t often participate in blogger engagement programs, but this one seemed especially interesting and relevant to my family situation. We are a highly-connected digital household with two parents and two young children.
I’m certainly not not paranoid nor conservative in embracing the Internet for work and personal life. However, I believe security has failed to keep up with the Internet, which is now ubiquitous. Let’s be honest: ubiquity includes lots of good as well as scum.
Some areas of great concern for my family include:
- Digital hackers, thieves and vandals (who’ve attacked this site in recent months)
- Inappropriate content for young children
- Ignorance or lapse of judgment in living out best security practices
- Practicality of changing passwords regularly (i.e., monthly) when you have to keep track of several dozen of them to access core online services
- Software and mobile app developers that nonchalantly access and capitalize on people’s personal data, thanks to fuzzy expectations, weak disclosures and unchartered legal territory
Our first Digital Joneses project was a digital security IQ test, of which I scored 14 out of 16. The four questions I missed, presuming they truly are valid security topics, indicate there’s a ton I don’t know. I hope to learn more in the program.
Anyone can take the IQ test here.
Disclosure: The Digital Joneses Study will occasionally include loaned gadgets and other assets. So far, this includes an Asus ultrabook (which is an awesome machine, despite Windows 7) and a family license for Trend Micro’s Titanium Internet security software.