Using is not understanding

Social networks are today the main and often unique reason why people come online for the first time. Sometimes these people will discover the Web step-by-step through Facebook and WhatsApp, but sometimes they will also be blocked at a very limited use if there is no one to teach them. For these users, it is necessary to offer free learning opportunities, to allow them to discover the Web, but also to protect themselves online.

Here is a little annecdote from our recent trip in India, where we learn that there is a huge gap between using the Web (& social media) and understanding it, which can be heavy in consequences when it comes to privacy.

We interviewed a man doing Mehandi work in the streets of Delhi. This art is very popular for Indian women, and generally informally executed by men who wait for clients in market streets. One of the man we interviewed had a dual sim feature phone and a tablet where he kept pictures of his designs. When we asked him if he shared the pictures on the Web, he asserted yes, while pointing out the WhatsApp and Facebook icons from his tablet.

He then handed us his business card, for us to be able to find him on Facebook. He mentioned: “This is my Facebook, this email id”.

Business Card
Business Card

As you can see on the card, he displayed his ‘email id’, which is in fact his phone number, along with the password to connect (Blurred for protection). We tried it.

This simple business card allows literally anyone to log into his personal profile and access all his conversations, friends, pictures and other private details.

Using is not understanding.

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