Online Dangers/ De-Escalating Conflict

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Online Dangers/ De-Escalating Conflict

About the show

An industry-recognized security expert with over twenty years of hands-on experience, Eric Cole specializes in building computer security systems to protect organizations from advanced threats. In the first half, he discussed how cyber-crime is dramatically on the rise, and the many ways you and your loved ones could be harmed online. When we're surfing or opening up email, there's a lot of backchannel communication, and monitoring of our activity that people are unaware of, he cited. The problem in the last year, he continued, is that legitimate-looking emails that are seemingly from banks and places you do business with have been arriving but are actually fraudulent, and sometimes it can just take one wrong click or attachment opened for a person's information to be compromised.

One thing people need to realize, said Cole, is that they could be a target even if they're not wealthy, as a lot of scams just go after smaller amounts. Teens should be careful about what they post on social media, he remarked, as colleges are now using online profiles to determine whether or not someone should be admitted. He also sounded a note of caution over the use of many mobile apps, which might imperil a user's privacy. People entranced by the technology often don't stop to consider any risks, he said, concluding that "we need to develop better cyber-hygiene on what is and is not acceptable."


Doug Noll is a lawyer who has been working with prisoners to change how they think and act in order to transform their neurochemistry and alter the negative outcomes in their lives. In the latter half, he talked about his latest work developing a new set of social listening and communication skills that can quickly defuse or de-escalate an argument or conflict. To calm someone down, he advises to ignore their words but get a sense of what their emotions are in the moment, and then reflect those emotions back to them in a simple "you" statement of validation. For example: "You're really angry and frustrated, and you don't feel supported, and nobody listens to you."

While this method seems counterintuitive, the brain responds to it in a completely different way than any other active listening technique, and it can work in just 45 to 90 seconds, he reported. Also by slowing the conversation down, this gives the upset individual time to recognize their reactivity rather than lashing out, Noll said, adding that asking questions so that the person can share stories is another useful technique. "It takes a lot more courage," he noted, "to make peace with an enemy than it does to engage in violence."

News segment guests: Charles R. Smith, Mish Shedlock

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