Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Categorizations

I've heard stories of DADS faced with Internet Safety issues from the other side of the generation gap (from children), i.e. parents. This is an extremely current and mostly underground issue, helping your family members and neighbors navigate and control the Internet-attached computer, protecting personal privacy, the computer asset itself, and blocking or filtering unwanted intrusion. Heck, I've installed PCAnywhere on my Sister and Brother-in-Law's computers to be able to "fix 'em up" remotely. Lots of trust involved there; one can certainly uncover interesting tidbits about a person's online and offline activity with unrestricted access to their computer.

This brings up the need to examine a taxonomy of sorts, by which the top level subject area "Internet Safety" (both words used as an aggregate term or idea) should probably be addressed. While "Internet" connotes online, virtual activity and information exchange, "real life" obviously intrudes and is impacted sometime by online events. "Safety" has a broad set of sub-classifications and meanings, and contexts, from your personal, physical safety to the safety of intellectual property. Perhaps we start to define the Internet Safety taxonomy (as a 'subject' classification scheme) in terms that will help guide and categorize discussion. All 'sub' categories must wholly contribute to the high-level category.

For example: Personal Internet Safety: Here's my definition of the subject category: "the knowledge domain, practices and products related to protecting one's (and those associated with) physical person, physical or intellectual property, personal relationships, personal reputation and profile from actual, perceived or unknown negative consequences caused or facilitated by events, messages, information or software involved or exchanged during the course of one's computer-based activity while attached to the Internet".

So, it's a broad area, but might not get into more specific (or broader contextual) topics such as "General Computer Maintenance", which would include a lot of things not necessarily related to Internet Safety (like optimizing your hard drive). It would include Computer Maintenance-related items such as Firewalls, Anti-Virus, etc. that are related. Note also the use of "personal" - businesses and governments have a lot to do to protect themselves on the Internet, but my focus here is on the individual first as a member of society and family (vs. an employee or business owner).

Here's an initial high-level category listing, that I'm dealing with.

· Internet Networks and Sites
· Internet Access and Control
· Safety - Personal and Private
· Safety - Physical Assets
· Safety - Public Assets or Memberships

By the way, I've started an eDocument (eBook?) series covering many details of executing the DADministration system - it'll be posted soon in various places (either free, or something like $.99 - need to start saving for college!). Other general Internet Safety information can be found at http://www.whizkidsllc.com/links.htm.

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