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It’s not what you’d expect to come out of the mouth of a cyber-security expert, especially not one who as an undercover police detective spent years posing as a teenage girl in online chat rooms and social networking sites to catch predators.And one who’s just told a story about a Year 4 girl being asked for her address on an online gaming website, and explained how predators trawl social media sites for teenagers with no privacy settings in place.But before you go thinking Brett Lee has forgotten all of that, he adds a caveat: “But we make it that way by putting certain things in place, and understanding what the risks are and what our responsibilities are, and using that to make informed choices.”

The Australian cyber security expert is in Auckland to give a talk to parents and teachers at Diocesan School for Girls tonight, and St Heliers School tomorrow.

The former Queensland police officer claims to have spent more time online as a teenage girl than most teenage girls, and has the stories to go with it.

“I was interviewing a criminal in a police interview room and he said he targets teenagers who don’t use privacy settings,” Mr Lee said, adding the second step that online predators take when targeting a young person is information gathering.

“They need information to know who their victim is, what vulnerability or need that young person has,” he said.

“This guy said, ‘I could ask them to add me as a friend or to follow them, but that takes time and there’s a record of me being there’. He said, ‘so I will go to a social networking site of a teenager and if they’ve got privacy settings in place, I’ll keep moving until I find one that doesn’t use privacy settings’.

Click the link below to watch the video.

NZHERALD: Cyber-security expert gives advice to students

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