Archive for May, 2009

Teach Your Kids about the Internet

Thursday, May 28, 2009
posted by raheema

The Internet is a powerful tool.  It is a new tool, something that we did not have when we were growing up.  It is something that we need to teach our children how to use properly, although it is a great exciting place, like everything else is life, it also has it’s dangers.

Rule 1:  Talk to your kids about strangers. We have always done this since they were little.  Just like there are strangers at the park, there are strangers online.  Tell your kids they should never give out any information about themselves or their families, even if it does not seem important.  Eg. of these are: Where you live, What school you go to, Where you hang out after school.  When basic information is given out, it is easy for a predator to use a few search engines and within a few minutes they can know almost EVERYTHING about you.  When there is a will there is a way.

Rule 2:  Never give out passwords.  Often times, kids give the passwords to their close friends.  This is a BIG NO-NO.  When they have a tiff or if one friend is jealous of the other, they can log in to the others account and manipulate information or  pretend they are the other friend and divulge private information OR make up incorrect information.

Rule 3:  Teach your kids not to tolerate entertain cursing or other negative behavior. It is very easy to respond in a negative way to a person over the Internet since you can’t be seen. However, you might not know if the person the child curses is a computer expert or not, which could endanger your computer and data or finds you and hurts you.

Rule 4:  Kids can have fun online while still being monitored. Giving kids total freedom online, is asking for trouble.  Keeping an eye on them helps – keep the computer in a place where you can see what is happening when you pass by.  Check their website history, see where they have been and what they are doing.  Get their passwords and check on their chats.

Rule 5:  Do not except files without permission. Files should not be opened without permission.  Even if it is something as simple as a picture from a friend.  It might carry a virus or it might allow another user to access your computer and files.

Again, do not stop them from  using the Internet.  The World Wide Web is interesting and fun BUT it needs to be used properly.  Like I mentioned before it is an invaluable tool it can be great for keeping in touch with family and friends, it can be used to play games and socialize, it can be used for research and learning… but for each positive there is also a negative aspect.  So, the best way to use it is with caution… and this is what we need to teach our kids.

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Facebook and Court cases

Thursday, May 21, 2009
posted by raheema

I have heard so many stories of ‘friends’ or if you would like to call them ‘frienemies’ manipulating others pictures and re posting them on social networking sites, like Facebook.  In our Internet Safety presentations, I always say that the Internet is an open world where everyone can see you.  It’s like changing in front of a window with the curtains wide open…

A few days ago, I came across an article in the Toronto Sun.

Its about how the courts are actually using information found on sites like these to help in certain cases.  In one case that they use as an example, a girl was injured and is suiing someone for 40K, because she is ‘injured’.  The courts passed pictures as evidence. They were pictures found on Facebook that showed this poor injured girl kayaking and doing other sporting activities!  This is the first time I am hearing of something like this…   This girl put up these pictures… expecting her 366 friends to see them, probably without realizing that her privacy settings would allow her friend’s friends to see them and other people in her network.

Like the article said, it is not how many people you show things too, but it is about WHO you show it to…  I would assume that she will not collect her 40K now….

Now, don’t get me wrong, I use Facebook.  I like Facebook, but again, it has to be used correctly. In our local paper today, I saw an article about how a girl found her birth father through information on Facebook.  I have another friend who found her brother this way… and for those of us who do use these sites, we have all found one long lost friend or another… that we are glad to re-kindle friendship with… with everything in life… Social networking sites have their pros and cons… before you post anything… think twice – Will it affect myself or anyone else?  Am I being malicious?  Do I need to post these pictures…

These things along with other things that technology has brought to us, are very exciting… but they are still “new” to us… we still need to learn how to use them… so think before you Click!

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