Consumer Reports co-hosted a workshop with Common Sense Media to demonstrate the use of Security Planner, an online tool that provides accessible, personalized, expert-reviewed advice that anyone can implement quickly and easily.
Consumer Reports’ experts Yael Grauer, Program Manager of Security Planner, and Justin Brockman, Director of Technology Policy, were joined by Kelly Mendoza, Common Sense Media’s Vice President of Education Programs in the workshop which was moderated by Consumer Reports’ Manager of Community Leadership Alan Smith. At the beginning of the event, Kelly shared Common Sense Media’s cybersecurity resources for parents and educators.
The workshop experts used case studies of Internet users with security and privacy concerns to show the breadth and depth of Security Planner’s recommendations. Workshop participants learned how to use the tool themselves and to support friends, family members, and students wanting to address their own concerns about online privacy and security.
Security Planner creates personalized action plans with prioritized recommendations by asking users three questions: What devices do you use? What are your privacy and security goals? And what, if any, pressing and immediate issues are you facing? If you add a new device, change your online behavior, or face issues like online harassment or identity theft later, you can always return to Security Planner and generate an up-to-date action plan that addresses your new needs.
Security Planner can be used in classrooms as well as by individuals, and you don’t need to be a Consumer Reports member to use it. Security Planner is confidential, and the advice and recommendations come from experts in the field.
The webinar was structured around 3 case studies that were based on problems Security Planner’s experts hear people talk about frequently. Webinar participants engaged in several discussions about privacy and security terminology, learning about tools like VPNs (virtual private networks) and “doxing” (the practice of researching and publicly broadcasting private or identifying information about an individual or organization). The case studies illustrated that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to online privacy and security, which is why Security Planner offers personalized action plans. You can see the different action plans for our three case studies: Brianna, Jorge, and Maya.
By using case studies, participants learned not only how Security Planner can provide solutions to their personal concerns, but also that the privacy and security threats faced by others can be different than what they assume! Workshop participants discussed feelings of embarrassment about falling victim to online scams, harassment, or other invasions of their privacy and security. Our case studies showed that there are a lot of threats online to your privacy and security, and that the first step to getting help is realizing that there’s no shame in needing it! The second step is creating your own action plan on Security Planner.
Security Planner is a deep tool that can do a lot, and this workshop provided only an overview of it. Try creating your own action plan to see what it can do for you!