This morning I overheard GMA making reference to the case of Julie Amero which was the subject of my blog in December titled “Unsavory Justice – Julie Amero vs Connecticut“. The ABC News story “Wrong Computer Click Ruined My Life” doesn’t present any new facts in the case, but does present the case before perhaps a much different audience than it might have received previously. The aforementioned links provide the background which I will not expand upon.
However, what I do want to suggest is that there are lessons to be learned from this:
- The need for training (…over and over again I see training as the number one need!) Those of us who are computer literate make many false assumptions regarding users — we need to rid ourselves of those assumptions. I’ve always told users that I was training that “You’re trainable”, but that doesn’t mean they’re trained! The training MUST be on-going.
- The IT department perhaps was not well enough trained either – OR – the proper precautions that would have prevented the site accesses would have been in place. (NOTE that this does make the assumption that IF they knew what to do they would have done it – which assumption could be erroneous since there is a cost associated with doing the “right” thing!).
- Leaving a system unattended can lead to mischief or mishaps – whether it’s a school classroom or a business environment, whether it’s a “dumb” use, or an intentional misuse. If you leave a computer that you’re responsible for, log off!
I’m sure that there are other lessons to gain from this as well, and certainly a variety of actions that can be taken. I just couldn’t let this sit today, even though I’ve blogged on it before! The case is unsettling to me!