There's no trojan payload, no zero day vulnerability here; no password crack or Facebook hack; in fact there's nothing here at all about the tech at the end of our fingertips. This is about the tech of our minds and in our hearts.
There is no security that can be built into our tools that can prevent a crisis arising from the absence of virtue in the people operating them. Educating users (especially kids) in ethical computing is of greater importance than how to remove malware from your laptop, or forcing them to turn on 2-factor authentication.
Honesty, integrity and truthfulness are curiously missing from the list of fundamental British values schools are now obliged to promote, but these surely should form part of any ethical approach to computing education. We should stress to children that they should be truthful when they write online. When pupils work in digital media, they should show the world as it is: they should learn how photos, audio and video can be edited to show things more positively (or negatively) than they are, but should also recognise the harm that should misrepresentation can do, and become more adept at spotting this when it happens. If pupils sign up for online services, they shouldn’t lie about their age or identity, and should stick to the conditions they (or their parents or teachers) agree to.
My 45-year-old son values external appearance. His world is about what he can get and how he appears. He will not give unless he can expect to receive. I was unable to guide him to live with integrity.
These days remind me of a science fiction book I read long ago, in which each person lived alone in a cubicle with a computer screen, from which all their daily activities were regulated. Personal interactions were limited and regulated by the government.
Right now, I am sitting alone in my cubicle typing on my computer. It occupies a good deal of my time, and is an invaluable resource, but I wish I could just go out and play. That was my desire as a child. Indoor activities, games, had no appeal. This new world is impersonal. That is scary.
We can do our best to incorporate values in the young. We can lead by example, but we cannot necessarily expect to be followed.
Your posts are truly thought-provoking.