For girls and women in the technological age, this guide to Internet safety is a must-read.
The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy should be given to every teenage girl with an Internet connection. “The sad fact is that women have more reasons to be concerned about online privacy than men do,” investigative tech reporter Violet Blue writes, “because women are at a greater risk for physical violence and are directly targeted more often than men.”
Blue proves that the dangers are very real. A hacker secretly turned on the web cam of a Miss Teen USA’s computer and tried to blackmail her with nude photos. A Sprint employee was caught sharing intimate photos he’d nabbed from a female customer’s old phone. A California teen killed herself after she was raped and the video was passed around at school.
Furthermore, online privacy is not just about sex. Blue outlines corporate-sharing schemes that allow advertisers to compile dossiers on users’ likes, dislikes, and online habits. “Your information is sold to advertisers for about two-fifths of a cent per bundle as part of an enormous, multibillion-dollar industry that centers on the collection and sale of you,” Blue writes. “You are the product. And business is booming.” Blue also writes of a male Wired journalist who endured a cyber attack in which all his information on his smart phone, tablet, and laptop were erased, including photos of deceased family members and the first year of his baby’s life.
Her scare tactics are backed up by critical methods on how to check whether your online world has been compromised as well as color-coded lists of the types of information you should never share, sometimes share, and are okay to share. She walks users through setting the right privacy filters on social media, how to have the strongest passwords, and the legal steps necessary to fight an online bully.
The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy is not written for parents trying to micromanage their kids’ online life. It’s a young woman’s invaluable guide to empowerment, addressing not only the why of keeping strong boundaries but the how.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.