April 11, 2007
Dear CNET members,
When I was young, being at home with my parents was probably the safest place I could be. Around the house, the only means of communicating outside the home was the telephone, which was easy to monitor uncomplicated to guard against misuse. Today, it's a completely different landscape because of the Internet. Like it or not, our children are growing up in a cyberworld and the threats to them are growing at a high rate. You can't help but hear or read about crimes against children through cyberspace. And though my children are still young, you can believe I'm already starting to prepare as a parent to not only educate myself about these cyberthreats, but also ingrain in my 4-year-old not only the awareness of drugs and alcohol but also the dangers of being online.
With all this said, CNET recently launched a special Living with Technology feature: Keep your kids safe online. CNET's guide explores the threats and explains how to help your children safely surf. It also brings front and center the awareness that parents, parents-to-be, and grandparents need to protect the innocence of youth youth from the online threats. This guide is extremely helpful, but nevertheless I'd like take it to the community level where parents, grandparents, or parents-to-be can discuss and share the methods and strategies in place (through software monitoring and controls or parental guidance and supervision) to keep our kids safe online and ensure that they do not fall victim to Net predators, online bullies, and so forth.
If you've ever had a frightening experience or a close call regarding your kids being online victims, please share those with us, so that we all can get a glimpse of how real this problem is. The more knowledge that parents can share among one another, the better we will all be at protecting our children online. Thanks!
This week's hot topic:
Keeping your kids safe online
CNET recently launched a special Living with Technology feature: Keep your kids safe online. When I asked what methods and strategies (through software monitoring and controls or parental guidance and supervision) our members used to keep their kids safe online, many members shared with us their experience and tips for what worked for them.
"Mark 1 eyeball"
"Technology (hardware and software) is great. But nothing beats the Mark 1 eyeball of a concerned parent. My two children are older now, but when they were young, the PC was in the living room where I could see what they were doing online. I knew the IDs of their online friends and, if I didn't recognize a..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member Professor Curt"I like the iBoss filter"
"I have an older teenager, with a PC now in his room. I keep close tabs. I check his history and downloads frequently, and I use a filter I'm very satisfied with, a hardware filter device called the iBoss from a company called iPhantom, for about six months. It costs $80, with a $5/month subscription. It sits between the..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member InsertCleverUserNameHere"I used two things when my kids were younger..."
"First, I used a HOSTS file to block inappropriate sites from being accessible on any browser. I also "hid" the folder where the HOSTS file resides and setup "limited" accounts for each user. For those interested, see the How To Use A HOSTS File link below. Second, I had the computer set up in a room..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member Grif Thomas"Most important topic!"
"This is such a relevant topic and one that I'm sure will continue to grow in importance. My kids are grown now, but my grandchildren are all heavily into computers and the Net. My eldest son has five children, and he expressed to me his concerns about them accessing inappropriate sites. He was also concerned..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member GrimblesSpeak up!
Now it's your turn to tell us: What methods do you have in place (through software monitoring and controls or parental guidance and supervision) to keep your kids safe online and ensure that they do not fall victim to Net predators, online bullies, and so forth? Have they been successful? We want to know.
Top 5 Internet dangers for kids:
A resource guide
Monitoring software downloads
From CNET Download.com
Latest news on kids' online safety
From CNET News.com
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