This past weekend, the world experienced the first truly international ransomware attack. The WannaCry ransomware has infected over 100,000 organizations in 150 countries since it was first discovered on Friday. WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in older or unpatched versions of Windows in order to carry out its mission: to encrypt victims’ data, holding it hostage until the user pays a ransom of $300. It has been spread largely through the use of spam emails containing malicious attachments.
When working with parents to create personalized internet safety plans for their families, we often hear concerns about screen time. Prolonged screen time is especially common this time of year. Kids are getting out of school and have more unstructured time to spend flipping through their smartphones or tablets, or sitting on the couch playing videogames.
Based on a recent report by the American Association of Pediatrics, parents’ worries about screen time are legitimate. While there are certainly benefits to kids and teens interacting with technology – for example, educational apps and staying in touch with extended family – there are still good reasons for placing healthy, age-appropriate limits on screen time.