The Internet – Good and Dark Side

We all have different purpose in accessing the internet because it is a powerful tool that is available to anyone. However, there are people who use the internet for criminal activities and they end to harm other people through it. When you are not careful, you could become a victim to cybercriminals and this makes the internet as a tool both has a good and bad side. Here is an overview of the two sides of the internet.

Accessing a piece of information from another side of the planet has been easier mainly because of the internet. You don’t need to buy a newspaper anymore because you can just read the latest updates from different news channel. In fact, if you want to establish contact with your old friends, searching them in Facebook is a good place to start. If you don’t want to try Facebook, you can call them through Yahoo Messenger and Skype. It is the best way to establish contact and to access information.

While accessing the internet, you should be careful in revealing personal information because these could be used by anyone including cybercriminals. Identity thefts have become rampant because of users who have been complacent in posting private information especially in the internet. Be wary every time you post in your profile because cybercriminals might use the information you posted in the internet. Children should be reminded always about the dark side of the internet so they’ll be aware of the danger and they would minimize positing of sensitive information in the internet.

Chat Room Caution Tips For Teens

For parents who don’t know, chat rooms are virtual rooms where people can chat and talk. These virtual rooms are set-up according to specific subject or interest, such as favorite TV shows, sports, etc. Aside from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, chat rooms are one of the most popular places for both kids and teens to communicate with each other.

Despite its promise of free channel for information, chat rooms aren’t always as ideal as they sound like. Certain rooms talk about explicit subjects with some online predators looming around. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most common places for pedophiles using other fake information, to frequent.
They pose as teenagers and encourage kids in chat rooms prod other people through exchange of personal information, putting kids they chat with, including their families at risk. If you’re worried about the various potential dangers of chat rooms, then you better tell your child about it. Here are extra safety precautions you can tell your kids to help them protect themselves.

Everything becomes live inside the chat room

Whatever you say will be there for good. You can’t delete it. So make sure you don’t post anything you will regret later. Don’t say anything you want people to know, such as your personal information (full name, home address, contact info, etc), or reveal your present location, or where you frequent. If you wish to use a good name, choose a good nickname, but make sure it doesn’t reveal your real name.

Be cautious

Don’t meet up with someone you just knew in the chat room. If you wish to know the person personally, then meet in a public place and bring some friends with you. If the conversation starts to get creepy and uncomfortable, stop responding to that person, or better yet, block that person. Sign out if you feel uncomfortable about the topic.

Educating your kids and teaching them the things they can do to protect themselves is the best protection you can give when you’re not around.

How You Can Get Involved In Your Kids’ Internet Activities

Aside from the internet safety tools you can install to your computer, there are many things you can do to better monitor and protect your kids’ computer and online activities. Here are some tips:

  • Learn to block objectionable and explicit materials.
  • Bookmark those sites your kids love to visit for easy and faster access. This will also keep them from wandering around the internet.
  • Spend online quality time together and teach your kids more about computer use. Kids love to explore new things with the guidance of their parents.
  • Convince your kids to share their email accounts with you, so you can monitor messages coming in their emails. Explain to them the importance of doing it.
  • Always keep the computer in common area where you can see and watch them use. Not in your kids’ bedrooms.
  • Monitor your credit card for any unfamiliar account charges.
  • Know what type of online protection offered by your kids’ school, friends’ home computers, or any place where your kids can access the internet without your supervision.
  • Posting messages to private chat rooms will reveal your kids’ name, and email address to other users, thus, block private chat rooms and explain to your kids the danger of entering there.
  • Listen to your child; take his or her reports about any uncomfortable online encounters seriously.
  • Keep and forward copies of threatening or obscene messages your kids get from other internet users to your ISP (internet service provider).

Some websites out there use what we call “cookies” which job is to track info about their internet visitor across the internet, and even computers. Thus, it’s important to disable cookies in your computer.

Internet Safety Law For Your Kids’ Protection

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to live without the computer and internet. Billions of people rely on computer and internet technology on a daily basis for various reasons, and because of this, like any commodity, internet has its own share of opportunistic predators that can harm internet users in so many unimaginable ways. For this reason, it’s indeed, wise to keep an eye of your activities and talk about your concerns to take advantage of your resources and protect your computer, family from these unscrupulous individuals looming in the internet.

Laws for Internet Safety

The COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), which is a federal law, was made to strengthen the protection for kids online. It was created to keep people from gathering personal info of kids without their parent’s permission.

The law obliges websites to explain their privacy policies right on their website and get parent’s consent before getting and using the person info of the child, such as name, home address, school address, contact info, Social Security number, etc. The law also prohibits websites from obtaining more info than necessary to participate in their contests or play games.

The law is made to protect children from the potential dangers of online predators. But like any other law for your family’s privacy and safety, the best protection for your kids still lies in your guidance. By talking to your kids about hazards looming around the internet, teaching them responsible use of the technology, and monitoring their use of computer, you’ll be helping them help themselves in building a solid wall of protection, whatever they wish to do in the internet.

Be Wary of Posting in the Internet

There are many internet users who don’t mind what they post in the internet. What they don’t know is that they could be the next victims of cybercriminals looking for someone to target. These users could include you especially if you post without thinking of the possibilities. You should be wary in posting especially in the internet because of various reasons.

First, users are not required to divulge information especially in unsecured public websites. Websites claiming to be secure are not 100 percent attack-proof, so you should be careful always. Never post information such as social security number, address, birthday and credit card data. Once criminals would be able to get their hands on these data, they can steal your identity and even use your card to do illegal purchases. Emphasize especially to kids that confidentiality must be important when accessing the internet.

A simple photograph can be used by anyone to put you in the most awkward position. With the use of photo editing software, pranksters can do anything to make it incriminating. They can even attach the head of a person to another person’s body. When not careful, your photo might end up in dating websites if not in adult websites. Post pictures only that could be pleasing to many people and not those that might be used to blackmail you. In using the internet, everyone must be careful in posting pictures and photos. Emphasize this to your children especially those who are fond of uploading their photographs.