Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Password sharing a culture among teenage social media users

The effect culture has on security is extremely fascinating. Adoption of security policies on use or privacy are all governed in terms of adoption and effectiveness by the culture of the company or country. I have seen a restriction on the use of social networking in the workplace go from being fully restricted to completely open due to an acquisition. On a similar key the level of monitoring may vary based on how process abiding employees are. In some countries, employees may fully revolt even if one hinted that their emails may be read using a digital leak prevention system which protect against inadvertent leakage of sensitive information.

The recent article by the New York Times equated the power of password sharing to having sex among teenagers.  It’s a form of affection or the ultimate sign of trust that enables one to read the others private emails and posts. In a 2011 telephone survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 30 percent of teenagers who were regularly online had shared a password with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend. The survey, of 770 teenagers aged 12 to 17; found that girls were almost twice as likely as boys to share.

The essence of the article is that there is so much social pressure to comply that despite the negative fallouts of violating the privacy of other people who send mail thinking only the recipient can read them, emotion impact of reading mails when the relationship sours, jealousy and ability to slander through a personal account the trend  continues.

I do hope that this trend reverses itself, as password sharing as we all know is not a good practice. What teenagers do today should not carry into the workplace as a habit in the future.

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