What is the Trust But Verify system?

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What is the Trust But Verify system?

One rule that I think is great is to establish a trust but verify system with kids. Parents kind of go, I don't want to feel like I'm spying on my kids, but they are not really sure what to do to help provide guidance. I always tell them, think about it as, your kid is getting ready to drive a car. Nobody would toss the keys to a kid and say, "Here are the keys. Read a book and go drive." You go through a whole process. You tell them get good grades, I'll get you a permit. They take a test and they get their license eventually. Then they drive under restrictions. As they get older, they get more freedom as they prove themselves and get more social maturity behind the wheel. It's the same thing when it comes to the internet. So that trust but verify is, "I'm going to trust you, given your age, and here are the things I'm going to be checking." So you tell them straight up, "Here's the things I'm going to check." For the younger ones, you might share passwords to your accounts. As they get older, maybe you stop sharing passwords, but you tell them, "I am going to check your Facebook wall. I will from time to time." If I'm the one paying for your phone, I'm going to check your messages and your texts. It's only because I love you and I care about you and I just want to make sure that we can have this dialog and this conversation. For that older one, you can use that analogy of driving a car. They'll get it, they're going to understand; and the good news is that you are not spying, you are participating. You are actually setting the ground rules and talking and communicating versus spying on your kids. It's a great way to have a healthy conversation about internet usage.

Watch Theresa M. Payton's video on What is the Trust But Verify system?...


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Theresa M. Payton

National Cyber Security Expert

Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.  She is a wife and mother to three fabulous and fun kids.  She is also the co-author of the newly released book Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? and the founder of the S.A.F.E. Kids initiative - a classroom-based, digital safety program.

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