Monday, September 16, 2013

It's not about the screen.

At the same Microsoft Safer Online event last week, Jack McArtney said something that grabbed my attention. he was explaining that Verizon originally focused on mobile technology, thinking it was about managing inappropriate content. We all approached cybersafety from the perspective of a particular website, network or app. It was IM safety, Text safety, Cellphone safety, email safety, gaming safety.

Then some of us came up with the 3Cs (and later the 4Cs). Content, Contact and, depending on which expert you followed, "Commerce," "Commercial Risks" or "Cost." It took the analysis and shifted it away from the device, feature or network and examined the risks instead. Verizon quickly understood that it wasn't about the screen at all.

"It's not about the screen."

It doesn't matter if you access Facebook on your cellphone, XBox, laptop or any other connected device. It doesn't matter how you YouTube, Farmville or Pintrest. The issues are the same.

This concept takes cybersafety another leap ahead. Allowing us to work with the category of risks, instead of one-by-one app review makes our lives easier. We don't need a new cybersafety program every time someone launches a new app or builds a new feature.

One of the things I love most about Jack is that he makes it simple. He was the original Verizon "can you hear me now?" tester in the early days of mobile when he would use his mom as his connection. Only a mom wouldn't mind dropped communications as he found the end of the reception call by call. :-)

When I speak to parents or do a TV show, I get emails and messages from parents wanting to know how to be safe on, or youtube, or Facebook, or...(you get the idea). Being able to tell them that "it's not about the screen" will make it much easier for them and for me.

Thanks, Jack!