Keeping Children Safe Online
Children present unique security risks when they use a computer—not only do you have to keep them safe, you have to protect the data on your computer. By taking some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the threats.
What unique risks are associated with children?
When a child is using your computer, normal safeguards and security practices may not be sufficient. Children present additional challenges because of their natural characteristics: innocence, curiosity, desire for independence, and fear of punishment. You need to consider these characteristics when determining how to protect your data and the child.
You may think that because the child is only playing a game, or researching a term paper, or typing a homework assignment, he or she can't cause any harm. But what if, when saving her paper, the child deletes a necessary program file? Or what if she unintentionally visits a malicious web page that infects your computer with a virus? These are just two possible scenarios. Mistakes happen, but the child may not realize what she's done or may not tell you what happened because she's afraid of getting punished.
Online predators present another significant threat, particularly to children. Because the nature of the internet is so anonymous, it is easy for people to misrepresent themselves and manipulate or trick other users (see Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for some examples). Adults often fall victim to these ploys, and children, who are usually much more open and trusting, are even easier targets. Another growing problem is cyberbullying. These threats are even greater if a child has access to email or instant messaging programs, visits chat rooms, and/or uses social networking sites.
Keeping Your Child Safe on the Internet
As with the real world, the Internet has its seamy side -- and it's all too easy for kids to stray into it. Click-click and a Peter Cottontail fan's search for "bunnies" turns up raunchy pictures of women wearing fuzzy white ears and not much else. Porn, questionable characters, hate groups, and misinformation flourish online. To preserve the best of what's online for your kids and avoid the garbage:
Keeping Adults and Children Safe on the Internet
The Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate and function in our day-to-day lives exposing us all to an unimagined volume of ideas and possibilities. We are only beginning to understand the full impact that such expanded access to images and information is having on adults and children.
Access to the online world via computers, other communication devices and networks offers an experience of anonymity which increases the chance that both children and adults will take risks and experiment with behavior they might never attempt in “real life”. We must acknowledge our responsibility to educate ourselves and our children about safely using this rapidly changing technology. By taking protective actions in advance and speaking up about questionable behavior, we can help prevent harmful use of the Internet. Below are resources to learn more about protecting those you care about and responding effectively to concerning online activity.
GREAT topic Imamaze! I've seen a lot of members discuss this and will be sure to link them here in the future!
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In memory of Ron Pruitt
The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource to teach kids and teens how to stay safer on the Internet.
Coalition Children Safety on the Internet
Children tend to be way ahead of parents on the Internet. For the most part, they are more comfortable with computer technologies, schools are going on-line rapidly and the world is shrinking in totally new ways. Safety in this environment is an evolving issue, one that has attracted widespread media attention. The reality, however, of this technology is that it holds vastly more information, opportunity and richness of experience, than danger.
Safe Online Surfing FBI
With school back in session, one topic that’s on many class curriculums around the nation is cyber safety. After all, it’s a hyper-connected world—with texting, social networking, e-mail, online gaming, chat, music downloading, web surfing, and other forms of wired and wireless communication now a regular part of children’s lives.
The FBI has a new program that can help. Today, as part of its longstanding crime prevention and public outreach efforts, the FBI is announcing a free web-based initiative designed to help teachers educate students about cyber safety.
It’s called the FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge—and it was developed with the assistance of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and with the input of teachers and schools.
FBI-SOS is available through a newly revamped website at https://sos.fbi.gov. The site features six grade-specific “islands”—for third- through eighth-grade students—highlighting various aspects of cyber security through games, videos, and other interactive features. Each island has either seven or eight areas to explore—with a specific cyber safety lesson—and its own central character and visual theme. For example, fourth grade features Ice Island, complete with falling snow and penguins.
FBI Cyber Crime
We are building our lives around our wired and wireless networks. The question is, are we ready to work together to defend them?
The FBI certainly is. We lead the national effort to investigate high-tech crimes, including cyber-based terrorism, espionage, computer intrusions, and major cyber fraud. To stay in front of current and emerging trends, we gather and share information and intelligence with public and private sector partners worldwide.
Cyber Law Enforcement Organization
The Cyber Law Enforcement Organization is a network of law enforcement officers, who specialize in cybercrime investigation, training other law enforcement officers and who assist cybercrime victims online. Their tipline handles child pornography, cyberstalking and missing children tips, as well as tips for cyberscams and fraud online. The Cyber Law Enforcement Organization also includes the Legal Eagles group of prosecutors, defense counsel and legal experts in the field of cybercrime, to help educate and guide the Internet community on crime prevention and reporting of cybercrimes.