Terry Cutler on Internet Safety
Terry Cutler has heard a familiar refrain during nine years of teaching Internet safety: Parents can’t keep up with their kids when it comes to technology. The way he sees it, yesterday’s technology did not prepare today’s parents for their children’s ability to access potentially harmful media.
Technology: no longer a passive babysitter
Television was a babysitter, and the interaction between children and TV was passive. “You sit down, watch or change the channel. If a parent was in the kitchen and didn’t like what was on TV, they’d walk into the room and change the channel. The parent was being active,” he said.
Today, with Internet-enabled apps and devices, children are active media consumers with numerous ways to access TV shows, movies and music, as well as engage with peers. Cutler says that parents, in many cases, have fallen behind this technology and are becoming passive. They have no idea how to monitor, safeguard or even understand the Internet’s dangerous places.
An ethical hacker learned how online predators work
Since becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker in 2005, Cutler learned the mindset of how hackers and scammers trick their way into people’s systems. “I started seriously looking into this in 2004 when one of my heroes Laura Chappell demonstrated how she was able to get involved and track down predators who thought she was a 14-year-old girl,” he said. “Since I was already familiar with the technics, it inspired me to help join the cause to make a difference.”
Cutler created The Course On Internet Safety to change the game and maybe even save lives. “So much of our personal and online life is intertwined, which makes it extremely important to protect it,” Cutler said. “Having your personal information taken and used against others to gain their trust and tricking them into thinking it’s you will cause heavy stress and anxiety.”
Terry Cutler’s focus is on protecting families and businesses with in-depth but easy to understand knowledge about nearly every aspect of online security we face today, from proper privacy settings on Facebook to how to avoid clicking on phishing links and compromising your data.
Three online safety tips teachers can offer students
Cutler offers three strategies teachers can give students to stay safe online at the elementary, middle, and high school level:
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.