Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Dads Joining the Internet Safety Club

It appears more tech-savvy Dads are getting involved both by themselves and with company support, in advancing the resources, information-sharing and cause of Internet Safety. "Cyber Dad" joins the original "Dadministrator" online as a purveyor, instructor and participant in the Internet Safety battle....


Myspace and Online Gang Activity

Here's a review of a recent Loudoun County, Virginia Gang Awareness Seminar (Northern Virginia, outside of Washington DC) - one interesting item to note, was the comments about the significant gang activity online with Myspace - while not necessarily, overtly criminal, it certainly provides a lot of fodder to keep law enforcement interested and engaged, and can only promulgate offline gang activity and behavior. All the more reason to keep your kids away from Internet Social Media until (1) they're thoroughly trained, aware, responsible and can prove it, and (2) their Internet Access is fully understood and monitored by you.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Keeping Predators off Social Networking Sites

You've heard about them, places like Myspace, Facebook, etc., the "social media" sites built to allow people to share their world and friends with each other. You've also heard, no doubt, of sexual predators using these anonymous mediums to hone their craft. Now there's new legislation proposed in New York -

From Media Daily Online - "The Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act, would require sex offenders to register their email addresses and instant message screen names. That information would be turned over to social networking sites, which could then prevent people from creating profiles. Several weeks ago, MySpace said it was ousting convicted sex offenders from the site by comparing names of users with state databases."

This is good legislation, that should truly become national legislation, though obviously there are worlds of issues with respect to enforceability - we believe these sorts of convicted or charged felons should simply not be allowed to use online, electronic communications medium. In fact, all of their phone calls should be either recorded, or intercepted by proxy for approval. Just like if they tried to walk into a school, they'd be intercepted by security officials.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Web 2.0 Safety

This morning's WAPO article about Megan Meier's suicide after a "web of deceit" developed around a cruel Myspace prank is very tough to read. The story ruefully ushers in the next phase of Internet Safety risks that parents and their children must be aware of and prepared for, Web 2.0 Safety.

While Megan's parents seemed to have done most of the right things, like monitoring her online activity, proctoring her Myspace account, doing their best to manage her school and friends environment - an intruder slipped through and wreaked first virtual, then mental and physical havoc. Being safe while using the Internet, i.e. Internet Safety, meant making sure strangers couldn't and wouldn't take advantage of, harm or otherwise intrude on one's physical and personal life. This was about protecting the identity of you and your children from strangers seeking to harm you, on or offline.

Now the danger is in the rapid growth of collective intent to harm, accelerated by easy Web 2.0 multimedia postings, generated from among one's own and extend online social media group. Basically, your child's in danger from the collective and perhaps unintentional explosion of social anger and resentment, generated from within their own peer group. This isn't unlike "ganging-up" happening on the playground, but it's much more quick to develop, much more intense in the faceless vitriole, and can extend quickly to other networks of "trusted individuals" leading to a very widespread and influential "online gang".

How do you stop it? Practiced Internet Safety techniques are just one tool; much more important now are (1) direct Parental involvement in knowing and understanding exactly whom you child is corresponding with, by name, and (2) rapid reaction from an Internet-saavy parent in the physical world, i.e. as soon as signs of online "gang-up" activity develop, moving into full disaster management and protection mode.

Megan's parent's only clear mistake was not shutting off access to her new online friend "Jason", whom they (or Megan) had never actually physically met.

Know each of your child's friends by name and sight, and those are the only ones with whom correspondence should be enabled online - if social media participation is allowed at all for middle schoolers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Parent Site to check out

Check out the new Parent's site through our link at

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Coming Soon - Kindergarten Computer Training and Internet Safety Lesson Plans!

Coming Soon!

Downloadable Kindergarten Computer Lesson Plans

We will soon be offering computer training lesson plans downloadable for teaching Kindergartners and Adults computer skills. Over 30 Kindergarten classroom lessons will be made available, spanning and synchronized with the entire Kindergarten school year. Adult lesson plans for teaching and learning basic computer skills, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint will be available. All lesson plans include modules and information regarding Internet Safety and proper care and maintenance of your computer.

These computer training lesson plans are perfect for home schoolers, teachers, day care centers, after-school programs, Summer camps, Girl and Boy Scout programs, YMCAs and YWCAs, and any other forum where Kindergartners and Adults are provided computer training skills.

Contact us to sign up in advance for theses copies.

These unique and classroom-proven computer training lesson plans have been used and updated over many years in our very popular computer training programs, and have helped hundreds of Kindergartners and adults in our community get a start on mastering safe computer use in school, daycare, work or home environments.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Patch your computer before online holiday shopping!

A huge network of search-indexed fake domains, loaded with hacks designed to take over your computer and steal information, has been discovered buried in the Search Engine results of Google, MSN, Yahoo, according to this posting.

Download and update your machine's Msoft patches, if nothing else, BEFORE shopping online (especially if using Search Engines to search!).


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Over 50% of County 3rd graders have unrestricted Internet access

This post speaks for itself - not a good state of affairs in Loudoun County, VA, or likely any other county around the US...