Tag Archives: parents

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.

Technorati Tags: Bypass, Children, computer, danger, Filtering, help, Internet, Internet Filter, news, Online, parents, pedophiles, Safety

Protecting Your Kids is Not Just About Technology

Ask the majority of children from the age of 4 what the internet is and they will not only tell you, but they will demonstrate to you on how to use it. Because of this, the issue of Internet safety and security is on the forefront of parents minds.

The internet is a wonderful place, yet it can also be a dangerous place. Internet safety is a concern that every parent should be aware of and be thinking of some form of internet protection implemented. This will be one of the most important decisions made in their own house holds.

Internet safety is for all ages. Whether you are a child just learning to move a mouse and type on a keyboard, a teenager who knows there way around the internet, or the adult that is responsible for all the minds in their homes.

Safety on the internet is extremely important. It is all about the things you can see, the people you can meet, yet not know who they really might be. The internet can take you places of wonder, yet it is of utmost importance that children are informed and guided in the dangers that they may face while surfing the web.

There has been many a young person who has been violated while they were innocently roaming the internet. There are an increasing number of predators that will gain access to your computer to steal personal information, bully you and introduce you to filth that ought not to be seen.

Would you allow your child to surf in waters that are known to be shark filled? I dare to say you would not. Then why allow a child to surf the internet without protection from the sharks online that seek to destroy their young minds?

What do you do? You invest in a “shark cage”. Having your own shark cage is not a luxury, but a necessity in today’s world. There are different types of “shark cages” available online. Some are a type of monitoring system. Is this right for you? This type of software is considered to be the “Oops! Too late now.” It is comparable to turning on the 6:00 news and hearing about your child getting mauled by a shark and you would be too late to do anything about it.

A good internet filter is a better solution. This would be more like a shark cage that can withstand the likes of a great white shark. In this computer day and age, children are smart. The shark cannot get in, but what will stop the child from getting out?

The use of an internet filter coupled with a monitoring system is the most effective way to control your internet usage. This type of system will stop accidental misspellings that will take you to a dangerous site and the intentional attempts to get around the filter. You can avoid most of the dangers of the internet with a product like this.

There should also be communication with all who use the internet, the fact that the computer is being filtered and monitored should be known to all who use it. It is a great help knowing you are being watched. This will guide and direct you in not trying to get by with something accidentally or intentionally. This is a way to instill good behavior and not catch someone after the fact. The use of a good filter will aid in the turning away from temptation, and increase the safety guidelines set out by you. Internet safety and security is a growing concern for all that use the internet.

Technorati Tags: Children, danger, Internet Filter, parents, predators, protection, Safety

Protect kids online with these tips

Protect kids online with these tips

These ideas can help parents deal with cyber-bullying, predators and porn.

By Melissa Healy

January 26, 2009

Last week, the Supreme Court quietly let die a federal law dubbed the Child Online Protection Act, which made it a crime in the United States to post sexually explicit material on the Web for commercial gain without making provisions to block kids from gaining access.

A lower court in Philadelphia had struck down the law, arguing that parents could already shield their children from such material by installing Internet filters. Bush administration lawyers had appealed, countering that less than half of parents use such filters, leaving children in need of the laws protection. It was an argument the justices declined to take up, dismissing the case.

The legal wrangling underscored a long-standing truth about kids and the Internet: No matter how ill-equipped they may be, parents are their childrens last line of defense against smut, cruelty, adult predators and the poor judgment of youth online.

Installing Internet filters can be an effective block against pornographic images. But for many parents, they are daunting technology that can limit adults — and kids — legitimate searches as well, including those for information on sexual health.

They also are a poor defense against cyber-bullying and sexual solicitation on social networking sites.

Smart moves

Following are tips from the National Assn. of School Psychologists on protecting your kids online, even if your own online skills lag behind theirs.

Keep computers in easily viewable places, such as the family room or kitchen.

Talk regularly with your children about the online activities in which they are involved and Internet etiquette in general. Children should know the rule that many adults have learned from painful experience: Do not say online what you would not say in person.

Encourage children to be self-protective. Remind them that anything they say on the Internet or in phone text messages can be shared with others and misused. Ask them to consider if they want what they are saying and doing broadly disseminated. If not, they probably should not say or post it.

Be specific about the risks of cyber-bullying and their need to tell you if something that bothers them occurs.

Respect for adolescents privacy is important. But tell children that you may review their online communications if you have reason for concern.

Set clear expectations for responsible online behavior and phone use and consequences for violating those expectations.

Consider establishing a parent-child Internet use contract.

Consider installing parental-control filtering software or tracking programs but do not rely solely on these tools.

Be aware of warning signs that might indicate your son or daughter is being bullied, such as reluctance to use the computer, a change in the childs behavior and mood, or reluctance to go to school.

Document the bullying.

Be equally alert to the possibility that your child could be bullying others online, even if unintentionally.

Understand current local laws and your school policies. Work with your school to develop policies if they dont exist.

If you have concerns, contact your childs school to enlist the help of the school psychologist, school counselor, principal or resource officer.

File a complaint with the website, Internet service provider or cellphone company if you learn of problematic behavior.

Contact police if the cyber-bullying includes threats.

via Protect kids online with these tips – Los Angeles Times.

Technorati Tags: Children, computer, Filtering, health, help, Internet, Internet Filter, Internet Filters, network, Online, parents, predators, privacy, protection, service, web

Warning Signs: Is Your Child Having Cyber Issues?

After Mary Clark watched a recent episode of the Dr. Phil show about teens using the Internet to bully or threaten other kids, the Fairfax, Va., mother sat down with her 14-year-old daughter, Katie, for a heart-to-heart. They discussed the dangers that lurk online. Her daughter even told her about being invited to join a social networking group that was set up to ostracize a more awkward, less popular student — something Katie had refused to do.

“Kids always get picked on,” Clark says. “This is just a more blatant way to do it — and it’s a worse way to do it because everyone else knows.”

So-called cyber bullying has become the new version of beating someone up at the bus stop, but online, it’s more under the radar. The Internet is now akin to a bathroom wall, where teens can write graffiti about one another — often anonymously. Teens use social networking sites to marshal forces against other students. Though cyber bullying is one hot-button issue kids could face online, there are others. For example, teens break up with each other by changing the relationship status on their personal page, so all their friends can see. Or they discover they weren’t invited to parties when they see a video of the party on the Web featuring friends who made the cut.

Here is how to spot the warning signs that your teen could be dealing with cyber issues and some expert advice on how to open the lines of communication and resolve the issues:

Seeing the Warning Signs

If your kids are suffering from cyber dilemmas, you might notice the same kinds of red flags they exhibit when dealing with offline issues, such as bullying, breakups, rumors or hurt feelings. Except the symptoms may be worse if the drama is playing out online, experts say.

“What’s interesting is that things online can actually have more of a profound impact on them,” says Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and author of Me, MySpace and I: Parenting the Net Generation (Palgrave Macmillan 2007). “Between you and the person on the other end of this is a nice screen. The screen is somewhat protective. If it’s someone you don’t know and they’re bullying you online, they feel free to say anything they want to say. Being behind the screen makes it seem like you can say more because it’s anonymous.”

These are some of the signs that your child may be struggling with cyber issues such as cyber bullying, online harassment, cyber stalking or other Internet nuisances:

  • Changed work habits Did your child’s grades slip this semester? Are they suddenly failing tests? “They may not be as good at doing their homework,” Rosen says. This is a sign that something may be wrong or that something — or someone — may be bothering your child.
  • Losing sleep or sleeping too much “They may be losing sleep or be reluctant to go to school,” says Anne Collier, co-director of ConnectSafely, a web site for parents, teens and educators alike about the impact of social web sites. No one wants to be confronted by their abusers. They may be worried and be unable to sleep or, conversely, they may be sluggish and want to sleep more because of depression. “These are signs of peer-to-peer problems,” Collier says.
  • Increased irritability Does your son fly off the handle more easily? Is your daughter snapping at everyone? “They might be more irritable and decide they’re sick all the time or don’t want to come to dinner,” Rosen says. “These are basically psychological issues they’re dealing with.”
  • Extra insecurity Cyber bullying or harassment can take a toll on a teen’s self-esteem. “They may be feeling and acting very lonely or humiliated or extra insecure,” Collier says. 
  • Spending more time online If you see a rise in the amount of time your teen spends at the computer — and if that increased time is leading to some of the symptoms listed above — then it might be another warning that something is amiss online. Keep track of your teen’s computer time and talk to him if you notice changes. Be careful about withdrawing Internet privileges entirely, Collier says, which could lead to more acting out or a feeling of isolation. Instead, come up with a plan to curtail usage. 

 

Helping Kids Resolve Cyber Issues
When your kids were younger, you talked to them about the dangers of crossing the street. You may have also talked to them about the potential to be bullied at school and to report any problems to an adult. In the same vein, experts say, you should be talking to your children about the risks of the virtual world on the Internet.

“As they’re creating social networks and making friends online, there are things that can happen out there,” says Rosen. “A lot of things happen because this is the Internet. There is this sense of anonymity they can hide behind. Kids aren’t necessarily savvy about that.”

Dealing with cyber issues requires parents to open the lines of communication. Your kids need to feel that they can confide in you. Here are some guidelines on how to open up those channels and help your child resolve online difficulties:

 

  • Make talks a common occurrence Rosen suggests starting weekly 15-minute parent-child conversations that can include talking about their experiences online. “Try to do them in an unassuming way,” he says. “Family dinners are a good time to have these discussions.” 
  • Listen, listen and listen “Parents should talk about one-third of the time and kids should talk about two-thirds of the time,” Rosen says. “You really have to listen to what your kids are saying. They’re really the experts now. Most of us parents haven’t experienced this firsthand.” 
  • Remember it’s not about technology It is not about the computer, Collier says. “Technology is just a tool,” she adds. “If it’s real cyber bullying, it’s about school. The emerging definition of cyber bullying is that it’s linked to their school life.” 
  • Talk to your children about their own online and offline behavior Studies have found that the perpetrators of cyber bullying are most likely someone at your child’s school, Collier says. Talk to your child about what may be going on at school that might have spilled over to the Internet. Work together to understand the situation before deciding on the next course of action, such as contacting another child’s parents or the school. 

 

Overall, if you’re already aware of your child’s cyber dilemma, “that’s half the battle,” Collier says. “Kids so often go into stealth mode.”

And in her case, that’s why Clark used the Dr. Phil program to raise the topic with her daughter to curb trouble before it started. “Fortunately,” Clark says, “I don’t think it’s been a real issue for her so far.”

Copyright (c) 2008 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

 

About The Author: Elizabeth Wasserman is a freelance writer and editor based in Fairfax, Va. She writes for a variety of publications, including Congressional Quarterly and Inc. magazine, and she edits the online publication CIO Strategy Center.

via Corpus Christi, TX | KRISTV.COM |Warning Signs: Is Your Child Having Cyber Issues?.

Technorati Tags: Children, computer, danger, help, Internet, myspace, network, Online, parents, report, secure, web

Parents Test Your Internet Filter

Parents, test your Internet Filter. An easy way kids get around the filtering of blocked websites is Google Cache.

I know allot of you parents take the time to implement the parental filters on the internet and with good reason. There is all manner of harmful material on the internet that could be disturbing to a young mind.

There is a simple way to get around internet filters that kids use more than you would imagine. That way is Google’s cache of the website that is being blocked. If the kids access the website through Google’s cache of the website then they will still get to view the objectionable content.

How do they do this?

It’s really quite simple. All you have to do is search on Google for the website using ththe cache tag in front of the website address. For example: cache:sexynude.com, thats all you need. with most monitoring software you can go through the logs and find out but by that time its too late to protect your child from the pornography as they already have seen it. The good news is that if they are old enough to understand the procedure to get around blocked internet websites they are old enough to talk to productively about it.

Test your internet filter, and get one that doesn’t allow this.

Technorati Tags: Internet, Internet Filter, news, Online, parents, Pornography, Safety, web, Websites

How Kids Bypass Web Filters

Children, whether at school or home, will try to bypass web filters that are placed between them and the internet. Not all, but most have either a rebellious streak (remember yours) or a curiosity that will kill the cat.

Internet filtering has become big business for some companies, providing parents with peace of mind. But, is that peace justified?  Are there ways for children to bypass internet filters without their parents knowing?

Ask a teen. They will tell you that there is more than one way to bypass most filters. Maybe they catch you typing in the password for them, maybe they use a web proxy to bypass the school filter, whatever way, some ingenious little bugger at school will figure it out and tell all his friends.

In particular web based proxies have been a problem for most internet filters.  There are new ones created on a regular basis. Some free speech and children’s rights advocates believe they are doing children a favor by allowing them to bypass the protection a loving parent has provided for his or her child. It is much like purposely leaving the back door wide open while the parent deadbolts the front door and thinks all is well.

That is why you need an Internet filtering service and not just free software. First of all, the free internet filters can’t keep up with the ever changing internet. They have little or no budget for continued research and monitoring of new sites. You need a team of professionals, whose job it is to monitor what’s going on and daily make the changes needed to protect your children online.

An internet filtering service that combines filtering, monitoring, reporting and continued research and development is the only thing that is going to help. Clean Internet is one such company. In business for over 10 years, Clean Internet is company that knows where the internet has been and where it is going. Protect your kids today with a reliable filter that doesn’t have password that can be compromised and won’t let web proxies bypass the internet filter.

Clean Internet, click here to find out more.

Technorati Tags: Bypass, Children, Filtering, help, Internet, Internet Filter, Online, parents, protection, report, service, web, web filter

The Sobriety Test: Is my teen on drugs?

If performed properly, the parent who uses the Sobriety Test contained in this booklet does not have to argue with his/her teen about being under the influence and can move directly to a discussion
of the consequences of the teen’s actions.

This booklet is designed to give you, the parent, a tool for you to use in raising your children. I will show you how to objectively know and prove whether your teen is under he influence of drugs or alcohol.

This will remove the issue from the realm of opinion and bluffing so you can deal with the problem in a constructive manner rather than go through emotional meltdown. Family relationships are not easy things. There is no foolproof, step-by-step method to follow that guarantees success. The dynamic within each family is unique. As parents, we must spend a lot of time on our knees, asking God for help and guidance. However, this booklet will give you a tool that you can use to improve the odds in your favor.

Check it out at Sobriety Test

Technorati Tags: Children, help, parents

Internet filtering software identifies and blocks porn

The Internet is a powerful research and communication tool; however, it contains an enormous amount of information that can be offensive to adults, and unsuitable and sometimes downright dangerous to children. There is a large amount of explicit, but legal, material on the Internet. There are bomb recipes, hate speech and obscene language, all mixed in with political, legal, educational and sports-related resources. The Internet is not owned or regulated by one particular place or person; therefore, anything can be put up on the Internet despite the objections of others. By simply connecting to the web anyone can have instant access to countless pornographic and explicit websites and other websites dealing with hate, violence, and terrorism. There is no universal definition of what is objectionable and what is decent, and children are exposed to ‘objectionable’ material on the Internet everyday. Fortunately there are measures that parents can take to prevent this from happening.Protecting Children online has become a growing industry during the past few years. Internet filtering software identifies and blocks unsuitable content on the Internet, and prevents it from being shown on the screen. No filtering software can be 100% effective, but the best web filtering software successfully blocks out the most undesirable sites, while letting though the more begin sites.
Clean Internet provides protection to children, teenagers and adults who are vulnerable to the negative effects of objectionable material available on the Internet.

The effectiveness of filtering software differs from one program or service to another. While some of them are simple plug-ins for Microsoft Internet Explorer and offer basic filtering of a manually maintained list of URLs, others offer a rich set of features and come with large built in database of white-listed and black-listed websites.

 

 

One of the most important attributes an Internet filter program can offer is an easy-to-use design, making it possible for people with all levels of computer experience to easily install and use the filter to its fullest capacity. The most useful Internet filtering software offers reports on what each family member has been doing on the computer, which includes websites visited, chat room activities, and Internet programs used and so on. These log files can be sent daily to a specified email address. In this way parents can monitor their child’s internet activity even when they are away from home.

Technorati Tags: Block Porn, Children, computer, danger, Filtering, instant, Internet, Internet Filter, Online, parents, protection, report, service, web, web filter, Websites

What is Internet Filtering Software

Internet Filtering Software, also known as Porn Blocking software, is software designed and optimized for controlling what content is permitted appear on a computer, especially when it is used to restrict material delivered over the Web. Content-control software determines what content will be available on a particular machine or network; the motive is often to prevent persons from viewing content which the computer’s owner(s) or other authorities may consider objectionable. Common use cases of such software include parents who wish to protect their children by limiting what sites their children may view from home computers, schools performing the same function with regard to computers found at school, and employers restricting what content may be viewed by employees while on the job.

 

Companies that make products that selectively block Web sites do not refer to these products as censorware, and prefer terms such as “Internet filter” or “URL Filter”; in the specialized case of software specifically designed to allow parents to monitor and protect their children, “parental control software” is also used. Some products log all sites that a user accesses and rates them based on content type for reporting to an “accountability partner” of the person’s choosing, and the term accountability software is used. Internet filters, parental control software, and/or accountability software may also be combined into one product.

Those who believe content-control software is useful may still not agree with certain ways in which it is used, or with mandatory general regulation of information. For example, many would disapprove of filtering viewpoints on  political issues, agreeing that this could become support for propaganda. Many would also find it unacceptable that an ISP, whether by law or by the ISP’s own choice, should deploy such software without giving the users a choice to disable the filtering for their own connections. In addition, some argue that using content-control software may violate sections 13 and 17 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 1998, a United States federal district court in Virginia foolishly ruled that the imposition of mandatory filtering in a public library violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights.

 

The use of Internet filters or content-control software varies widely in public libraries in the United States, since Internet use policies are established by the local library board. Many libraries adopted Internet filters after Congress conditioned the receipt of universal service discounts on the use of Internet filters through the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Other libraries do not install content control software, believing wrongly that acceptable use policies and educational efforts address the issue of children accessing inappropriate content while preserving what they believe to be adult users’ right to freely access porn. Some libraries use Internet filters on computers used by children only. Some libraries that employ content-control software allow the software to be deactivated on a case-by-case basis on application to a librarian; libraries that are subject to CIPA are required to have a policy that allows adults to request that the filter be disabled without having to explain the reason for their request.

 

Technorati Tags: Children, computer, Filtering, Internet, Internet Filter, network, parents, protection, report, service, web

Internet Filters Protecting Families

The internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time. As our families become increasingly intertwined with it, the more active role we must take to protect our loved ones from internet pornography. Although nothing can take the place of a well-informed parent that takes an active part in their children’s online activities, Internet filters add a strong, additional layer of defense, giving parents an added measure of control and further peace of mind.

Internet filters give you the ability to control content displayed, block websites and set up passwords. Powerful services like email filtering, popup blocking and chat room monitoring are just some of the tools available with today’s internet filters, each designed to protect against and counteract the tactics of aggressive online porn companies.

With so many internet filters available, researching and choosing the Internet filter that’s right for your family can be complex and time-consuming, that’s where we can help.

What to look for in Internet Filter Software

Even though the perfect internet Filter does not exist in today’s marketplace, there are a number of great solutions depending on your family’s needs. Below are some criteria used to evaluate internet filter software:

· Ease of Use – The most important attribute an Internet filter can offer is an easy-to-use design, making it possible for people with all levels of computer experience to easily install and use the filter to its fullest capacity. 

· High Speed Service – Not much is more frustrating than a slow internet connection. Nobody wants to be brought to a crawl while online; and Clean Internet will NOT slow down your connection, at all.

· Effective at Filtering –  For any type of filter to be effective it must Allow the good and Block the bad. Clean Internet does just that by blocking objectionable material and not filtering valuable content.

· Securely Installed – If a filter can be uninstalled easily… it will be. Clean Internet can not be bypassed by the end user or uninstalled without a call to technical support.

· Filtering Algorithm – Clean Internet uses a combination of filtering techniques, including URL filtering, keyword filtering and dynamic filtering.

· Client-Server Based – Clean Internet offers a flexible platform which allows users to decide whether their optimal filtering solution is client (home computer) based, server (office network) based or a combination of both.

· Foreign Language Filtering – Clean Internet is effective at filtering keywords in multiple languages. One of the tricks that many teenagers have discovered to bypass Internet filters is to type in the foreign language equivalent of certain keywords.

· Port Filtering and Blocking – Block or filter all major Internet protocols, including instant messengers, chat rooms, email, file sharing networks, bulletin boards and popup windows.

· Activity Reporting – Reports available on which web sites were visited and which were Blocked.

 

With internet filters and proper supervision, parents can keep their families safe from the ever-present problems and help them enjoy the most educational and entertaining aspects of the internet.

Find out more about Internet Filtering at Clean Internernet.

Technorati Tags: Bypass, Children, computer, Filtering, help, instant, Internet, Internet Filter, network, Online, parents, Pornography, protection, report, secure, service, web, Websites