A STORY ABOUT HOW MY 5 YEAR-OLD HACKED OUR PHONE:
About once a week, I talk to clients and business owners about how important technology is today, not just in terms of what it means for business, but also what it means to us personally. Whether you are a parent, a consumer, or, as I recently learned, a young padawan learner, technology is a huge part of how we learn, communicate, and engage with the world. As a parent, it's my job to know how to protect, inform, and educate my kids about technology. I need to make sure I know the apps, platforms and trends before they do so I can maximize the benefits while protecting them against the downsides (or, ahem, the Dark sides).
I have two amazing kids, Cruz and Lola. Five-year-old Cruz is fascinated with all things football. Since he's not fully reading yet or able to spell, he uses Siri on my husband's phone to tell him who won the game, who plays who, and finding individual players on each of his favorite teams. I love how curious and resourceful he is, and I was super proud that he figured out how to find information.
A few nights ago, my husband and I were sitting on the couch, and I saw panic fall across his face. "I think my phone is hacked!", he said with a look of terror. I looked over at his phone and he pulled up multiple emails on his personal account from "Stormtrooper". We clicked further, and the contact that the name was associated with was my husband's name + "Stormtrooper"; his emails, his contact information, everything had all been changed.
As he was frantically changing his passwords, I had a thought. Maybe his phone's "phantom menace" was closer to home. After all, Cruz had been really excited about Star wars recently, and his adeptness with the phone made it more than just a coincidence. Maybe he accidentally changed the settings while learning about a galaxy far, far away?
"Cruz, did you change daddy's phone's name?", I asked.
He looked at me, completely unfazed.
"Yes, I told it to call me Stormtrooper, and I'm going to have yours call me Darth Vader", he answered.
Looks like we found the hacker. While the Force is strong with this one, we're happy to report he doesn't have much of a Dark Side, even if our phones may suggest otherwise.
The lesson in all of this is that technology can be a great way to learn--about your kids, about your clients, and about the world. It also can be a good lesson in and of itself, a Force you'll need to constantly keep learning so that you can always make the most of it.
Here are a few funny things you can ask Siri:
- What does the Fox say?
- I'm tired.
- What do you think of google?
- What is zero divided by zero?
- Do these jeans make me look fat?
Phones are fun and can be a great tool to teach your kids about finding information. A critical skill that will be even more important in the future. Just remember to watch them with Siri. You can do a lot with voice commands on phones!