Category Archives: Internet Safety

Announcement: Internet Safety is Not About Technology

Internet safety and security is an extremely important issue that should be addressed by every parent, and is rapidly becoming one of the toughest issues facing parents today. It is an important worldwide concern for children, teenagers, and adults. Governments are getting involved. (in my opinion that is not a good thing, but that is a different topic)

Internet safety is not about technology, it is about the safe and legal use of the internet. It’s about the people you meet, the places you go, and the things you see on the internet. It is important for kids to know who is out there on the internet, where they like to hide, and what they want from you. Many young people have experienced grooming by predator pedophiles, solicitation of personal information, cyber bullying by peers, or have been shocked by filthy online content that just a few years ago couldn’t be found in the sleaziest adult magazines.

Internet Filtering is like a Shark Cage

Internet safety is not a luxury! You wouldn’t let a child surf in shark infested waters and you shouldn’t let them surf the internet without a “Shark Cage”.

What kind of Shark Cages are available online? Some look to accountability software for the solution, also called Internet monitoring, and there certainly is a place and time for that, but that kind of solution is more like watching your child get eaten by a shark on the 10 o’clock news before trying to do something about it.

Internet filtering is a good solution, definitely more like a shark cage; but what is to stop your child from finding a way out of the cage?

The combination of both Internet filtering and Internet monitoring is the best solution. By preventing accidental viewing of filth, often caused by simple misspelling, and the intentional attempts to bypass the filter through monitoring, you can effectively illuminate most of the dangers of the internet. Any further dangers can and should be eliminated through open discussion and communication about what information is permissible to give out and what isn’t. The fact that the computer is being monitored should be fully disclosed to all users.  The benefit of monitoring is to improve behavior not catch something after the fact. Knowing that someone is looking over your shoulder is a great help when it comes to temptation to do something that is not within the guide lines established for your safety. This will improve both Internet Safety and Security.

Check out a product that can provide both monitoring and filtering at Clean Internet.

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Dangers of Sexting

cell phoneMedia has made teenagers out to be innocently expressing themselves through sexting (sending nude photos of themselves to others through text messaging.)  How dare the courts prosecute the youth as child pornography producers, is often their cry.  I have read several articles about the dangers of sexting and how the image gets spread around, kinda like a sick joke; it is even posted online for the whole world to find.  The child is supposed to have suffered enough from ridicule to be punished any farther.  If this is true, then why does this kind of behavior continue rapidly throughout our high school aged children?  Wouldn’t they learn from others mistakes?  Or better yet, wouldn’t parents learn from all the sexting scandals and control their child’s phone usage?  I believe there should be a harsher punishment implemented when authorities are aware of such behavior.

In Rhode Island, legislation has passed that makes sexting by minors illegal. “Sexting offenders can be charged with a “status” offense in Family Court; individuals adjudicated of the sexting offense cannot be prosecuted under the state’s child pornography statutes.  Those who possess, or forward, sexually explicit images of a minor other than themselves, however, can be prosecuted under the child pornography laws and, if convicted, may have to register as a sex offender.”  Other states that are known for prosecuting for sexting include Indiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.  I think if more states would pass a law to this affect then we would see sexting among minors drastically decreasing.  If the teens do not see the affects of being registered as a sex offender surely their parents will and hopefully will start acting like a responsible parent that is supposed to protect their child.  If we  keep treating sexting like it is no big deal and that it is just a part of growing up and learning lessons then we are teaching our children that it is okay to brake the law and we should not expect them to quit once they step into the real world as an adult. No wonder so many adults today think that they are invincible when it comes to keeping the law.

We not only need to  teach our children the importance of safety online on our computers but with the growing popularity of sexting we need to on their phone as well.

Protecting Your Wireless Connection

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Our home is supposed to be a place where our family feels safe.  Recently I have read about unsuspected victims of internet hackers who prey on those who have not taken the time to properly secure their wireless network in their homes.  You may have thought the same way I used to think before I was informed: “Why in the world would anyone want to hack into my network.  I have nothing from which they could gain.”  Think again.  Is there anything you do online that you would consider private (online banking, purchasing online, or confidential passwords)? These matters can be seen by someone who is maliciously intercepting your internet connection. Do you really want someone to be able to spy on you?

Besides that, there is also the fact that neighbors might be using your internet connection for their own benefit.  The speed of your internet connection will be affected by the number of people who are using your router.  If your neighbors are using your wireless connection then you are not getting the full speed for which you are paying your internet provider.

The main reason for securing your wireless network is because there maybe someone using your network to conduct illegal activity that can be traced back to your address.  What happened to a Buffalo, N.Y., man should serve as a warning to all home Wi-Fi users: Protect your wireless connection! Before things were straightened out, this innocent man was surrounded in his home by federal agents, weapons pointed at him, and accused of being a pedophile. It turns out that a neighbor was using his unprotected Wi-Fi to access child pornography.

Many people simply plug in their wireless router and begin using Wi-Fi with no thought of security.  Here are some ways to protect your unsecure network.  If you do not know how to implement these steps, ask a tech-savvy friend that you trust to put these safeties in place.  Warning: this does not allow you to let your guard up while online.  Hackers are finding new ways every day to get what they are looking for.

1. Change your default Administrator Password and Username. The default name and password are well-known by hackers.

2. Turn on Encryption (WPA is best, but WEP works too if that is what is compatible with your all your computers) This scrambles messages sent over wireless networks so that they cannot be easily read. All your computers on the network must use the same type of encryption.

3. Change the Default SSID (Network name.) Make it unique but not personal.  Hackers that see a default SSID know that the network is poorly configured and is more than likely an easy target to break into.

4. Disable SSID Broadcast. SSID Broadcast allows the wireless access point or router to broadcast the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature is designed for businesses and mobile hotspots which need to let their uses know when they are in range. You do not want to send out a message that your internet connection is available.

5. Do not auto-connect to open Wi-Fi Networks. Connecting to an open Wi-Fi network such as a free wireless hotspot or your neighbor’s router exposes your computer to security risks. Although not normally enabled, most computers have a setting available allowing these connections to happen automatically without notifying you (the user). This setting should not be enabled except in temporary situations.

6. Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices. Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses. This means that the IP Address, (the IP Address is needed to participate on a network.) is typically assigned automatically. A dynamic IP address on an unsecure system can also supply a hacker with an IP Address.

7. Use MAC filtering. Every device on your wireless network has a unique identifier called the MAC address.  Your router keeps track of the MAC addresses of all the devices that connect to it.  Your router may offer an option to key in the MAC addresses of your home equipment, which restricts the network to only allow connections from those devices.

8. Enable Firewalls on each computer and the router. Modern network routers contain built-in firewall capability, but the option also exists to disable them. Ensure that your router’s firewall is turned on. For extra protection, consider installing and running personal firewall software on each computer connected to the router.

9. Position the router or Access Point safely and reduce your WLAN transmitter power. Wi-Fi signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of signal leakage outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi signals often reach through neighboring homes and into streets, for example. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the access point or router determines its reach. Try to position these devices near the center of the home rather than near windows to minimize leakage.  Not all wireless routers will, but some allow you lower the power of your WLAN transmitter and thus reduce the range of the signal. Although it’s usually impossible to fine-tune a signal so precisely that it won’t leak outside your home or business, with some trial-and-error you can often limit how far outside your premises the signal reaches, minimizing the opportunity for outsiders to access your WLAN.

10. Turn off the network during extended periods of non-use.. The ultimate in wireless security measures, shutting down your network will most certainly prevent outside hackers from breaking in! While impractical to turn off and on the devices frequently, at least consider doing so during travel or extended periods offline.

Hopefully this information has helped you in some way.  At Clean Internet our goal is your safety online, first of all through our internet filter.  We also have customer service available that is only a phone call or e-mail away.  Let us help you with any of your internet or computer questions.

info@CleanInternet.com

866-752-5326

Victims

Victims

In Casper, Wyoming on Dec. 16, 2009, an arrests were made of two men who attacked a women due to the internet. One man, the ex-boyfriend, put up a solicitation of the woman’s profile on Craigslist and of her “supposed desires”, while the other attacker saw the solicitation and engaged in the later crime of assaulting the woman in her home at knife point to “fulfill the request.” These men are now convicted on first degree sexual assault charges. The internet’s anonymity can be a very dangerous tool in the hands of predators who look especially for online ads that hint at sex and prostitution.

In Riverside County, California, Joshua David Threlkeld will be on trial February 16, 2010 for 126 charges against him involving 80  victims for crimes that have happened since August 2007.  Under the guise of Model-508 Studios on the MySpace network, he solicited girls between the ages of 11-17 for nude modeling work as well as sexually assaulting some of them. He was thankfully caught, but only after he has committed 149 charges of crime that we know of. Do you give your children free reign online and trust your them to do what you want them to online? Don’t be a fool, protect them. Would you rather have your child offended at you because you are in “their” business, or would you rather take the risk of having them assaulted by one of the thousands of “Josh’s” online?

Think before you post

February 9th, 2010 is this years Safer Internet Day

The topic for the year is “think before you post.”  A web site called Insafe organizes efforts to encourage people to use safety and be more responsible while online, particularly amongst younger generations. These events are quite large,  with 2009 seeing  500 events taking place in 50  countries worldwide.

The tasks this year are make sure you know your children. You need to know if your children use privacy settings available for social networking,  are selecting friends they can trust,  are posting pictures, and if they are posting pictures of their friends with permission.

This website as well as event is thankfully another means of making people aware of positive methods with which to train your children as well as yourself. Some of us don’t even think of the repercussions of our actions online, and are just ignorant of the possibilities. We need to educate ourself to learn things not to do for ourselves and our children, as well as use methods to protect ourselves from attacks beyond our control.

More than at School

As we continue to further our technology, we must get more involved as parents and moral citizen to protect ourselves and children from Internet pitfalls.

The Stanwell School in Penarth has linked with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) to educate their pupils of ways to be safe while online. This for example includes things like telling them the dangers of giving out personal information leading to identity fraud. This is a helpful step for the parents of Penarth, but it is up to parents not to drop the ball at home.

While children are young, you have to make their decisions for them. They don’t understand many things in their youth, but with time they will understand the reasons for your decisions. If you let your children online while at home it is your responsibility to be their protector. Ask yourself what you have done to keep them safe, if you don’t know what you can do, then start with an Internet filter. Do research to educate yourself, these are your kids.

The morality in the world today is greatly declining due to things made possible by the Internet. Pornography is at the click of a mouse or it may just pop up on your screen accidentally. Identity fraud is vast due to the personal information required to buy and sell online or transact other business tasks. Do not leave the domain of your time online without walls and a gate that’s guarded. You do have options, so take control and make the preparations needed to follow this through.Windsor Castle

Internet Safety, should it be Mandatory?

Britain is to make online safety lessons for children over 5 mandatory .

What do you think when you read this headline? Do you say great or who cares or the government has no right to implement Internet safety for our children.

No matter what your response The question you should be asking yourself is, What am I doing to guide and protect myself and my family from the dangers of the Internet The Internet provides our children with a world of entertainment, opportunity and wisdom — a world  at their fingertips.  But we as parents,leaders in our community and concerned citizens  must ensure that the cyber world is  safe for us and our families.

Internet safety is our job,we must teach our children the dangers of the Internet. Take time to sit down with the family and talk about internet safety and the dangers of online predators. Every home should implement a good monitoring and filtering product that will help in the area of online safety.

Do some research and start at a early age to teach the dangers and yes the wonders of the Internet.

You are your brother’s keeper


We have heard over and over again that we are only responsible to ourselves. The shrinks and counselors will also tell you “look out for number one” you cannot be your brother’s keeper. I say hogwash we have a responsibility to family, friends and yes foes to be an example and to help in any way we can to better a person and even a country.

One thing that makes America different and unique is the fact that we have always tried to be a big brother to those in need. Some would vehemently disagree with this, saying we should mind our own business, or we have enough troubles of our own. I will agree we have plenty of troubles of our own as individuals as well as a nation.

That is what makes us different, we as Americans as a whole are willing to put our issues to the side to help others. We live in a day were technology changes ever so fast. Computers the size of a notebook were a dream not too long ago. Surfing the Internet was unheard of. We as parents, friends and leaders in our community need to stand up and fight the trash that is pumping into homes, schools and our public libraries via the Internet. This is not censorship, but being responsible.

We must start in our homes, then to our friends and ultimately to our community and the world. The dangers of the Internet need to be taught and taught and taught. It is said in warfare you must know your opponent, well we must teach those using the Internet to know their opponent. Stay tune and I will give you some tips in the area of Internet safety and security.

Internet safety part 4

Lesson 4

Monitor and limit

This topic can be one that will cause some problems. Your kids can see this as an invasion of their privacy (give me a break) the fact is you set the rules and you enforce them.

Monitor what your children are doing online there should be no secrets if there are chances are there is a problem. This is where a good filter and monitoring software can come in handy. They will have features that allow you to see sites that were accessed and sites that were blocked (that is if you have an Internet filter) remember you are there protector. We know today’s teens think they know ever thing and don’t need any advice, but to the contrary they are weak and vulnerable.

Limit the time you allow your kids to be on the Internet. Decide the times and the days and stick to it. Spending too much play time on the Internet can be very dangerous.

Lessons in Internet Safety

Lesson 3

One of the most important things we as parents can do to ensure safety in our home is Talk,Talk,Talk.

We must communicate to our children the importance of Internet safety. This is a real issue in today’s high tech society. The Internet is a doorway that swings both ways. The key is we must stop the trash that tries to enter that door way.

Take time to sit down with the family and discuss what and what not should be done on the computer. Parents remember you are NOT your child’s friend in the regards of protecting and guiding them, you are their PARENT act like it and take a stand for what’s right in regards to what is accessed via the Internet.

Remember the key to Internet safety is not a single key, but a number of keys that need to be implemented daily.

Stay tune for lesson 4

It’s a surprise