Cyberbullying of Children is a Heartbreaking Problem that Parents Have a Role in Preventing

Cyberbullying — like plain “old fashioned” bullying — is a heartbreaking to see, especially when it is directed at innocent children. There are many things that can lead to it and there are many things that can help minimize it. I do not pretend to have all of the answers and, you can bet, if I thought I did, I would share them with the world.

See these Tips for Parents to Help Keep Kids Safe Online

But, there is one thing I do know and that is that parents have a very big role in helping to keep kids from bullying others and in helping to protect their own children from bullying. I use the words “helping to keep” and “helping to protect” as recognition that there is no single solution to this problem — but if we can help make it better, than that is a good place to start.

In this interview with Ken Molestina @cbs11ken on DFW CBS 11 @CBSDFW, we discuss some of the issues surrounding cyberbullying and you will notice that my advice keeps coming back to the parents, for a reason: We as parents are the first line of defense when things involve our children and there is no technology, service, app, or other person who can take our place.

How Parents Can Help Prevent Cyberbullying of Children

Here are several helpful resources to learn more about cyberbullying and how to help protect against it: provides extensive resources for parents and answers to questions such as:

  • What is Cyberbullying?
  • Cyberbullying Tactics
  • Preventing Cyberbullying
  • Warning Signs a Child is Being Cyberbullied or is Cyberbullying Others
  • What to Do When Cyberbullying Happens
  • Digital Awareness for Parents
  • Establishing Rules
  • Tips for Teachers
  • Reporting Cyberbullying

The Cyberbullying Research Center provides a very nice .pdf graphic listing these 10 tips for teens to preventing cyberbullying:

  1. Educate Yourself
  2. Protect Your Password
  3. Keep Photos “PG”
  4. Never Open Unidentified or Unsolicited Messages
  5. Log Out of Online Accounts
  6. Pause Before You Post
  7. Raise Awareness
  8. Setup Privacy Controls
  9. “Google” Yourself
  10. Don’t Cyberbully Others

The Most Important Lesson You Are Not Hearing About Apple’s iOS FaceTime Glitch

 The most important lesson about Apple’s iOS group FaceTime debacle that you are not hearing about should be a wake up call for everyone (Tuma explains this glitch on WFLA in Tampa, FL):

  • If Apple, through a programming glitch, has the ability to allow someone to use your iOS device as a microphone to listen to your conversations without you even touching the device or knowing it was in use, then Apple can do the same thing through purposeful programming.
  • If Apple can use programming to access your microphone, then it can also access your camera the same way.
  • If Apple can do this, so too could nation states with sufficient access to the programming (If you doubt this, read this story of UAE hackers).
  • If Apple and nation states can do this, so too can criminal hackers, with sufficient access. (Tuma explains more about this on WIOD in Miami, FL)

For decades our whole society has enjoyed the benefits of technology without accepting the responsibility of guarding against the privacy and security risks that go along with it. We have taken those things for granted and now it is time to pay the piper and become more responsible by being more cyber aware and using good cyber hygiene.

This is not just for the companies that provide this technology and collect and use our data. This is for all of us — we the people must learn to protect ourselves against these risks. (Tuma explains more about this on WJIM in Lansing, MI)

Here are a few points to consider to think about how we can do this:

  • There is no such thing as 100% security when it comes to technology or data. There is always some measure of risk involved in the cyber realm.
  • As you go through your day, imagine someone is listening and watching you through your telephone and think about what aspects of your private and business life you are unecessarily exposing through the technology and data we use.
  • This isn’t intended to be alarmist and suggest that you purge all technology from your life, however, there are ways to minimize unnecessary risk:
    • Do you really need your telephone in the private places you go, like your bedroom or restroom?
    • Do you really need to share your company’s deepest, darkest secrets in an email when it could have been done in person?
    • Do you need to have your telephone sitting on the table when you are discussing extremely sensitive private personal or business information, or, would that conversation go just as well (or even better) without the telephones?


Protect Your Company Against W-2 Business Email Compromise Attacks During Tax Season

The most likely “cyber attack” that your company will face will come in the form of an email. One of the most common forms of email attack is the business email compromise (BEC) and the most popular time of the year for the W-2 version of BEC is right now — tax season.

Read the full blog post to make sure you and your company are equipped with answers to:

• What is a W-2 BEC Attack?
• How Do Attackers Use the W-2 Information?
• Why Do So Many of These Attacks Happen During Tax Season?
• What Can You Do Now to Protect Your Company?
• What To Do if Your Company is Hit by this Attack?


Scientists warn brain implants can be hacked and used to control people (and you thought I was kidding?)

shutterstock_66449896Back in early 2012, I wrote a blog post about whether hacking a human would violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Shortly after publishing it, I received a call from a guy in Austin who said: “dude, someone finally gets it, I need your help!” … I responded that I was a lawyer, not a psychiatrist and that I was just kidding when I wrote that, kinda.

Now, here we are 6 years later and it seems this is becoming a thing more and more of a thing. What do you think?  Vulnerabilities in brain implants used to treat Parkinson’s disease could be hacked by cyber attackers and used to control people, scientists have claimed.

Key Lesson All Business Leaders Can Learn From the Anthem Data Breach Case

The 2015 Anthem data breach affected 79 million people and was the largest health-care data breach in U.S. history. The affected consumers sued Anthem in a case that settled for a record $115 million. Now the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights has reached a settlement with Anthem for a record $16 million — an amount that is almost three times the next-largest OCR data breach settlement of $5.55 million.

While these numbers are interesting, what is the takeaway for business leaders?

It all started with an employee opening and responding to a phishing email:


Anthem discovered cyber-attackers had infiltrated their system through spear phishing emails sent to an Anthem subsidiary after at least one employee responded to the malicious email and opened the door to further attacks. (HHS Press Release)

While this may be shocking, it is neither new nor unexpected. Most cyber incidents are a result of failures of basic cyber hygiene, not super sophisticated James Bond-like attacks. Read more about this in 1 Step to Improve Your Company’s Cybersecurity Today.