Building a safer ASKfm is a collaboration, and our Safety Center features multi-perspective expert research and guidance from those most knowledgeable about digital youth and the issues they face. See below the growing list of world-class experts we are proud to have as Safety Center editorial contributors. Interested in becoming one, or have a question for our experts? Drop us a note here.
Anne Collier, M.A., is president of the nonprofit organization Net Family News Inc., which she founded in 1999. Now in the process of developing the US's first social media helpline for schools, she co-directed ConnectSafely.org from early 2006 until March 2015. She blogs at NetFamilyNews.org ("kid-tech intelligence for parents"). Anne has served on three national task forces on youth and Internet safety, including as co-chair of the Obama administration's Online Safety & Technology Working Group, which delivered its report to Congress, "Youth Safety on a Living Internet," in June 2010, and the Harvard Berkman Center's national Internet Safety Technical Task Force of 2008. Most recently she served on the Aspen Institute Task Force for Learning & the Internet of 2013-'14. Her writing includes chapters in Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents (Oxford Press, 2014) and Cyberbullying Prevention and Response: Expert Perspectives (Routledge, 2012) and contributions to numerous magazines and Web sites. With her ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid, she co-authored the first parents' guide to teen social networking, MySpace Unraveled (Peachpit Press, 2006) and a number of guidebooks helping parents navigate digital age parenting. Among other advisory roles, Anne currently serves on Facebook's and Snapchat's Safety Advisory Boards in addition to Ask.fm's and helped the Born This Way Foundation form its Youth Advisory Board in 2012. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees and lives with her family in San Jose, California.
Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam
Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. He is a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, NBC, MSNBC, Deadline, Hollywood Reporter, Fox News Channel, CBS, HLNTV.com. He works closely with online companies as well as celebrity talent and the Hollywood industry on safety, security, and privacy issues facing them and the public. To sign up for the OnlineSafety.tv’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. See also Hemu’s personal site.
Dr. Justin Patchin
Dr. Patchin is co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and top author and researcher on the intersection of teens and technology, with particular focus on cyberbullying, social networking, and sexting. He is the well-respected author (along with Sameer Hinduja) behind "Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral," written for teens, and "Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying" which was named Educator Book of the Year by ForeWord Reviews. They also co-authored Cyberbullying Prevention and Response: Expert Perspectives and School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time and has published a number of academic and professional journals and magazines. Dr. Patchin has spoken at the White House and the FBI Academy, and has appeared on CNN, NPR, and in the New York Times to discuss issues related to teens use and misuse of technology. Dr. Patchin is currently a Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and his B.S. in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Dr. John Draper
Dr. Draper has nearly 25 years of experience in crisis intervention and suicide prevention work, and is considered one of the nation’s leading experts in crisis contact center practices (hotline, online chat, SMS services, etc.). He oversees all aspects of the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, which consists of over 160 member crisis centers across the country. Dr. Draper frequently presents at national conferences on subjects related to best practices in crisis intervention and suicide prevention, as well as the use of innovative technologies (text, chat, other online programs, etc.) in helping persons in emotional distress. Dr. Draper also frequently discusses the role of persons with lived experience of suicide (attempt survivors, loss survivors, etc.) in suicide prevention. Dr. Draper has been quoted in The New York Times, ABC News, The New York Post, and TIME among others.
Larry Magid is CEO of ConnectSafely.org and founder of SafeKids.com. Larry founded and operates two popular Internet safety sites: SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com. He also serves as on-air technology analyst for CBS News and writes for the San Jose Mercury News, Forbes, Huffington Post and other publications. In 1993, in an effort to save Polly Klass, Magid was the first person to post an image of a missing child online, which led to his work with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, where he now serves on its board of directors. He has written several Internet safety guides including Child Safety on the Information Highway and Teen Safety on the Information Highway for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Larry served on the Obama administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group where he chaired the education sub-committee and wrote the education section of the report to Congress. Larry is on the advisory boards of the Internet Education Foundation and Family Online Safety Institute and served on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, formed by 49 state attorneys general and Fox Interactive/MySpace and based at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He is also an adviser to PBS Kids and serves on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board. Larry's personal website is www.larrysworld.com.
Marsali Hancock serves as founding president and chief executive officer of iKeepSafe.org, an international network of more than 100 policy leaders, educators, law enforcement workers, technology experts and advocates united in a commitment to help track internet-connected devices’ impact and effect on youth. Winner of the 2009 FOSI award for outstanding achievement, Ms. Hancock engages with international groups on digital citizenship issues, including cyber safety, security, ethics and responsibility, including the development of safe internet practices and tools in multiple countries around the world. Her extensive experience includes directing initiatives with the Department of Justice, Deparment of Education, the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), EduSummit, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Child Online Protection Group (COP), among others. She has served on industry consumer advisory boards and participated with online safety committees for industry leaders: AT&T, Verizon, CCI, Comcast, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, AOL, Symantec and others.
Parry Aftab is a worldwide leader in the area of online safety and parent and child Internet education. As Executive Director of WiredSafety.org, the largest online safety and educational program in cyberspace, Ms. Aftab helps prevent and investigate cybercrime. Ms. Aftab is a security, privacy and cyberspace lawyer, as well as an author and child advocate. Recently more than 90% of her time is donated to Internet issues involving children and adults, ranging from protecting children from sex crimes online to helping adults avoid identity theft and fraud online. Her main focus is teaching good cybercitizenship, especially to young people. This includes cyberbullying and responsible use of technology. For more information, visit Ms. Aftab's personal site here, and follow her on Twitter.
Dr. Richard Graham
Dr. Richard Graham is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and recent Clinical Director of the Adolescent Directorate of the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, one of the UK’s foremost clinical services for young people with mental health difficulties. For the last decade his work has centered on the impact of digital technology on development, firstly focusing on the role played by visual media in body image disorders, and more recently through exploring the influence of connected devices, social media, apps and video games on adolescents and younger children. In 2010, he founded the UK’s first dedicated Technology Addiction Service for Young People at Nightingale Hospital and contributed to the development, as Clinical Director, of the award-winning online mental health service Big White Wall. Dr. Graham also contributed to the UK’s ‘Facebook for Good’ movement which led to the publication of the RAMP Guidelines which promote wellbeing online. In 2012 he was invited to join the national United Kingdom Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Evidence Group. Most recently he led an International Mental Health Leadership Program on e-Mental Health at the Tavistock, involving international leaders in e-Mental Health (http://www.iimhl.com/) and joined Baroness Susan Greenfield at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to discuss the Impact of Technology on the Brain.
ASKfm contributor, Theresa Payton is one of America's most respected authorities on Internet security, net crime, fraud mitigation and technology implementation. As White House Chief Information Officer from 2006 to 2008 -- the first woman ever to hold that position -- she administered the information technology enterprise for the President and 3,000 staff members. As founder of Fortalice Solutions, LLC, a security, risk, and fraud consulting company, she now lends her expertise to organizations large and small, helping them improve their information technology systems against emerging, amorphous cyber threats. In addition to her passion in serving the business community, she is passionate about raising kids in the digital age so they are strong, confident, know their rights to privacy and are safe. She serves as a cyber-expert for the syndicated program America Now and is the co-author of Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family and co-author of Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online?. Payton has been featured on Katie's Take with Katie Couric and on The Daily Show with John Stewart where she discussed the greatest threats to your family's privacy and security.