Thursday, August 5, 2010

IMHO: Children and their parents should be given lessons on online security

Imagine Facebook having 500 million users. Imagine that among those users, criminals are also there probably just two degrees connected to you. You may have viewed their profiles or they may have viewed yours. Imagine someone could probably be browsing your albums now and saving your pictures for his or her own evil purposes.

When the news about the Facebook murderer came out in March, parents panicked. Before them, they see their child safe but virtually they don't know if they are. The panic button in Facebook was advocated but ruled out--committing only to improving the existing system which I am trying to follow now.

This need to do something about the existing system doesn't apply to FB alone. There are a lot of ways to connect with your children online and you want to know who are these people and what they are doing to your children.

How do you control it?

Having a 5-year old niece who plays games on Facebook really made me think about child security online. She doesn't only use Facebook but also Youtube, the latter more frequently than the former. She searches for insects, birds laying eggs, Barney, Toy Story, Barbie and whatever she wants to watch within her 10-minute attention span. When she does so, my mom or my dad is watching her. Sometimes, we ask her to write down on a sheet of paper the things she searched for. Of course, you can always check the browser's history to check what she has been up to.

At her school, they are taught how to use the computer, its parts, and how to take care of it. I haven't checked their curriculum for this year if online security is part it. In my humble opinion, parents should really start getting serious about this and should consider schools which take this seriously too. I have to look for materials on how to teach kids online security. If you got suggestions on this, please let me know.

Paulyn Duman
Blog #9 (for Aug.13)

No comments: