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Internet safety

Gretchen's picture

Yesterday's Oprah show was frightening--about a young man who basically turned into an internet porn star.  He was finally convinced to "come out" by the NYTimes because he knew of a ring of pedophiles who were molesting children on the internet.  He is now in hiding because his life has been threatened.


But the overriding message is--do not allow your children to have  a webcam. There is a very real possibility of porn and pedophiles being able to access it. The other is to only allow them to have a computer connection in a public area of your home, not their room.


Our Medical Alliance is doing a year theme called Safeguarding Childhood. First part will be a public forum featuring Ed Smart, Elizabeth Smart's father. 
Second part will be a training session called RADKIDS where trainers are instructed in program for training children to actively and aggressively resist adult "assault"--empowering children to resist.
And the third will be a seminar on internet safety, keynoted by the NC attorney general.


Gretchen
Gretchen
soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #1 of 109)

We went to a presentation at DD's school where they mentioned the same problems with Webcams and that it is possible to turn on the Webcam from another computer, which is absolutely horrifying. So if your child is undressing, someone (or many people) could be watching.


We didn't have one and definitely will not be getting one. 


 


 

 

 

FitnessNut's picture

(post #45545, reply #2 of 109)

That's downright scary.

Follow your bliss ~~ Joseph Campbell

Follow your bliss ~~ Joseph Campbell
soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #3 of 109)

It was the scariest thing they said at the presentation but it certainly got through to me.

 


 

 

 

Gretchen's picture

(post #45545, reply #4 of 109)

I think it was the NYTimes reporter that was with this young man. He said they went to a store to just shop for a webcam before the broadcast and asked the (teenager) clerk what good webcams were. The answer was "chatting and porn".

Gretchen

Gretchen
soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #5 of 109)

I'll date myself here, but back in my day, we could use a phone and chat on that. Call me a Luddite, but I also have my mean-mother image to uphold (although I haven't yet had a request for a webcam). 

 


 

 

 

TracyK's picture

(post #45545, reply #6 of 109)

I can see the point of a webcam if it's a situation where mom or dad travels a lot for work, and wants to have daily video interaction with the kids or something... but unless there is a concrete need for one, I can't imagine it'd be good for anything.


I read that series in the NY Times and it was really scary the way these older men manipulated this kid into doing the stuff he did.


If I ever have kids, they will think I am the meanest mom alive, LOL.


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

Gretchen's picture

(post #45545, reply #7 of 109)

Believe me, I hate to think what my kids and nieces are having to deal with. 

Gretchen

Gretchen
TracyK's picture

(post #45545, reply #8 of 109)

I don't know... I'm not so convinced it's that hard to avoid, if the parents are remotely computer-savvy.


The kid in the NY Times article was stripping and performing sex acts for money... his parents never wondered where he was getting all the money? Never hopped on his computer and checked the files? Something about it seems off to me.


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

Gretchen's picture

(post #45545, reply #9 of 109)

It's not just this one type of thing. It's the kids that put all their stuff up on myspace.com.  And I agree, if parents do one iota of a neuron check, it should be able to be controlled. But then they go to a friend's house whose parents are clueless.

Gretchen

Gretchen
soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #10 of 109)

I didn't read the article, but it seems to me that if you're performing sex acts for money, the webcam isn't the only problem in that home. 

 


 

 

 

TracyK's picture

(post #45545, reply #11 of 109)

I totally agree. IIRC the kid's father knew about the "business" and shared the proceeds. This is quite a larger issue than just a kid with a webcam.


That said, there are certainly countless examples of kids' webcam images being sent around without their permission or knowledge.


Here's the link to the Times article:


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/19/national/19kids.ready.html?ex=1292648400&en=aea51b3919b2361a&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss 


(username: cookstalk  password: finecooking)



Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?


Edited 6/7/2006 12:35 pm ET by TracyK

soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #12 of 109)

Thanks for the link; what a sad story, and what a mess of a homelife! How on earth could a boy that age hide even $1000, let alone hundreds of thousands?


The presentation at DD's school pointed out the problems with posting images online, particularly on a kid's website. The child may give plenty of information so visitors can figure out identities through a school name, hockey team etc. The main problem is that these kids post pictures of their friends without their knowledge but with the same risks.


 


 

 

 

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45545, reply #14 of 109)

Our main computer is in a public location, and now that we only have dial-up, it's far less of a temptation for the twins than it used to be, LOL.


Still, though, I'm torn between constantly monitoring their activity and allowing them the freedom to use it on their own.


The monitoring is not only for predators but even more so for the downloads the boys will mindlessly click on "because it looked cool" no matter how many times I've told them not to and restricted their access.  They don't seem to get that the seemingly innocent download could very well contain a hidden program that could cause problems. Teenage boys, sigh.  Forethought is non-existent.


Leigh


 


Bacteria is the only culture some people have.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Adele's picture

(post #45545, reply #15 of 109)

Love your tagline!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45545, reply #16 of 109)

Stole it from a local vet's office that often has humorous ones on its marquee.  Thought it was pretty gutsy of them to say that in our neck of the woods--hardly a culture capital.


Leigh


Bacteria is the only culture some people have.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Adele's picture

(post #45545, reply #19 of 109)

I pass 4 churches on the way to work, one of them has cute sayings, this weeks is:


God Answers Knee Mail.  Cracks me up every time I go by.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45545, reply #21 of 109)

That's a good one.  Most of the little country churches we pass are on the fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone side, and their messages are usually some variation about how we will burn in hell.  Not exactly welcoming, LOL.


Although there's one that currently has this sign: "Free Trip to Heaven: details inside" which I think is cute.


Leigh


 


Bacteria is the only culture some people have.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #17 of 109)

DDs' computer is near my office in the basement (no one except me can use my business computer).


My best parenting trick has been to have a wireless LAN that sometimes doesn't work. Therefore DDs can't MSN (one wasn't allowed to during the school year anyway) on any regular basis. They are forced out onto our street to play baseball, waterfights, capture the flag with the neighbouring kids; not so bad a result, I think. :)


We've had that "don't click on anything" discussion. It sank in only when eldest DD clicked on something that then delivered her MSN contacts to my computer so I could read everything until she got it all cleared up. Ha! Sometimes I think God must be a mom and is chuckling along with me.


 


 

 

 

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45545, reply #18 of 109)

LOL! 


We don't have cable and can't get any "air" TV stations.  It's amazing how much more time the boys have to help around the house now, and how much more eager they are to do it to stave off boredom, LOL.


Part of my evil scheme?  Of course not. . . .Bwaaaaahaaaaa!


Leigh


Bacteria is the only culture some people have.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
soccermom's picture

(post #45545, reply #20 of 109)

<Part of my evil scheme?  Of course not. . . .Bwaaaaahaaaaa!>


We need that on our meanest-mom shirts.  LOL.


 


 

 

 

Ricks503's picture

(post #45545, reply #22 of 109)

A good program to have on your computer if you have kids is ContentProtect.  With that, you can block various activities and sites and if your child is going to a site that is blocked but which you determine to be ok, you can enter it into an exceptions folder.  It will also email you reports on activities and sites accessed.  It has been rated #1 filter for a few years now.


http://www.contentwatch.com/products/contentprotect.php


 


1 - measure the board twice, 2 - cut it once, 3 - measure the space where it is supposed to go        4 - get a new board and go back to step 1

 

 

" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

JoeB2's picture

(post #45545, reply #31 of 109)

I have my kid's computers right next to mine and will randomly read over their shoulders and understand the game they are playing or website they're reading.

We use a company called "B-Safe" http://www.bsafehome.com/ They install a client on the PC in question and then restrict access to sites with known bad content. No service is going to catch everything but they get a lot, which is better than nothing!

Also, I make sure that logging is turned on for chat, history is turned on for web browsing, and outbox is saving outgoing email. I then review it regularly and make sure my kids know I review it.

When they get a little older, I will record some network level traces of a conversation, show them the log and ask about it so that they think I'm monitoring all network traffic.

As long as I can get them to understand their activity is not nearly as anonymous as they think it is, I think that will help a lot.

I wish people here at work understood how public their network activity is to the IT department (or anyone else on the Internet)... I could tell you stories.

MadMom's picture

(post #45545, reply #32 of 109)

You're so right about people not realizing how public the internet is.  When I worked for the Navy, a married LTC and a married secretary (each married to someone else, of course) were carrying on an affair, and they would instant message each other about their liaisons.  Of course, everyone in IT was aware of what was going on, and took great pleasure in spreading the steamy messages around.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Adele's picture

(post #45545, reply #33 of 109)

Gee, I didn't think they had computers that far back.    


 


 


 


:)


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

MadMom's picture

(post #45545, reply #36 of 109)

Listen, sweetie, I know I'm old, but I'm not that old.  Of course, I can remember the first computer I ever saw, and I have met Grace Hopper (bet a lot of people don't know who she was!) but there actually were computers back in the day.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Heather's picture

(post #45545, reply #13 of 109)

I caught about 15 minutes of that show at 1 this morning. I'm not sure if Oprah followed up on this in the discussion, but the boy said he was allowed to go to Las Vegas and to Mexico BY HIMSELF at 16! And the mother apparently wrote books or articles on abused children. Get a clue woman!!

TracyK's picture

(post #45545, reply #23 of 109)

I don't mean to vilify the parents, because kids -- especially teenagers -- can be REALLY devious and sneaky (hell, I know I was!). And this kid apparently kept his grades up, etc.


But I can't help but think there had to be some red flags that got missed, by his family and by the school (the article referenced a classmate handing out copies of one of the webcam interludes at school).


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

elizaram's picture

(post #45545, reply #24 of 109)

Absolutely. Sure teenagers can be sneaky, but there was some serious negligence going on here, I think. The father was a scumbag, and the mother and stepfather were beyond clueless. A 13 year old getting shipment after shipment of neat stuff and expensive computer equipment, and she just assumes it was all for his home business? And speaking of that, a preteen starting his own business with apparently no guidance or supervision from his parents? That would be like me letting my 4 year old walk to the park by himself and find his way home when he was done. They gave the kid WAY too much credit.


Have parents somehow lost the right to be nosy about their teens' lives? I certainly wasn't raised that way, LOL! My parents wanted to know who my friends were, where I'd be, who I'd be with, and what time I'd be home, and asked all sorts of questions about what I'd been doing. And being evasive didn't cut it. I hated that at the time, but looking back, it probably kept me out of a lot of trouble.




Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. — Clare Boothe Luce



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45545, reply #25 of 109)

We tell the boys we have not only the right but the responsibility to be nosy about what's going on in their lives, just like we have the responsibilty to make sure they're eating right, wearing warm clothes in the winter, etc. 


They don't mind too much.  I think their mother is too busy to meddle as much as we do--I don't blame her since she's a single mom, working full-time and taking courses occasionally at night to better her lot--and they appreciate the attention and the love behind it.  They especially seem to enjoy the family meals, where we'll often end up talking for an hour or more after dinner is done.


We're very fortunate though that there's not too much to worry about with them.  Good boys.  Teenagers, to be sure, but good boys.


Leigh


Bacteria is the only culture some people have.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
CulinaryArtist's picture

(post #45545, reply #26 of 109)

Reading this thread I'm also watching yet one more installment of the Primetime series on Computer Sexual Predators that actually show up at the sting house they have set up.  It's just absolutely amazing how many of them have actually seen the previous shows and still show up and get caught. 


Many years ago during the early years of home computers we had Prodigy, (archaic internet) my daughter a teen at the time was on some chat groups.  I did notice that at some point she suddenly lost interest in chatting.  I asked her why but she blew me off.  A few months later I got a phone call from the FBI. They told me that she'd been chatting with a sexual predator that they were investigating him and wanted me to question my daughter and call them back with any details I could get.  She admitted that a person she was chatting with took the conversation in a direction that she didn't care to follow.  He had also sent her via mail a picture of himself without a shirt on and asked her for one also.  She produced the picture and a few of the chats that she had printed out.  As I said she had stopped chatting with him but we cooperated with the FBI turning all we had over to them.  He said he was 14 and the picture he sent was also of a teen.  But in reality he was in his 40's.  Nothing happened but it showed all of us how easy it was to become a "victim".  I think that it was another of those rites of passage and fortuneately in our case opened up the line of communication between us and her that has lasted for all this time (she's now 25). 


Parenting is a tough job and I can remember my Mother saying that she couldn't imagine doing it by the time my kids would be teens.  And I'm at the point that I can and do say the same to my Son and DIL who have two younguns!


 


Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

http//:www.travelingculinaryartist.com