Digital Citizens group focuses on Internet safety

The new group will focus on educating children and seniors about online scams and counterfeits

An Internet safety education campaign will point out scams and other online dangers with an initial target audience of children and seniors.

The new Digital Citizens campaign, launched Thursday, will also strive to shed light on the online sale of counterfeit goods, including prescription drugs, and on pirated Web content, said Tom Galvin, executive director of the new group. Digital Citizens will investigate online scams by showing how people can get fooled -- for example, one of the first projects will be to purchase counterfeit drugs from online pharmacies, he said.

Digital Citizens will also attempt to demonstrate the ties of counterfeit products and scams to criminal groups, he said. "There are large criminal enterprises out there," Galvin said. "What we see is an online Mafia that is spreading out into numerous illegal activities because they see they can make a profit."

One recent phenomenon the group will highlight is conference scams, where criminals set fake conference events on issues such as global warming and invite people to attend after paying conference or hotel fees, said Garth Bruen, president of spam-fighting service Knujon and a member of Digital Citizens.

Internet users have to make an "immense" effort to keep up with online scams, and one of the goals of the new group is to alert them to new dangers, he said.

The initial focus of Digital Citizens will be on education, but the group may get involved in Internet policy as well, Galvin said. The group hopes to put pressure on governments and Internet companies to take steps to protect Internet users, he said.

"We hope to motivate a greater awareness that leads to a safer Internet," Galvin added.

Several other groups "do good work" in targeting niches in Internet security, but a new group was needed to "point out specific victims and how they're getting victimized," he said. Digital Citizens also plans to "really demonstrate who the villains are," Galvin added.

It's important to educate children about online safety, said Teri Schroeder, founder and CEO of i-SAFE, a nonprofit focused on educating children and teens on safe Internet use. Many children and teens don't understand that their online activities have consequences years later, with some colleges looking at applicants' online presence, she said.

Among the members of Digital Citizens are members of the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Consumers League and RHD International, a health organization focused on eradicating rheumatic heart disease.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Digital CitizenssecurityKnujonNational Consumers LeagueTeri SchroederFraternal Order of PoliceRHD Internationali-SAFEinternetTom GalvinGarth Bruen

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?