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cyberchuck
26-11-2002, 05:38 PM
Hi all

The content in this article may not carry the same opinion as some of you. It does not contain coarse language, but may offend. If this offends you for any reason, please contact me (mailto:madmusician66@hotmail.com) to discuss your problem



Recently, I have noticed a large campaign targeting kids, mostly teenagers (like myself), about the risks of Internet Safety – I even brought myself to watch through a 20/20 documentary about it (which was boring). It was a great article and was well presented, it was just overdone.

Most teenagers are aware of the idiots out there on the internet (I know I’m one of ‘em - joking), but even more importantly, we are aware that the internet comprises of approximately 54% pornographic content. I myself have seen some of it, not that I purposely went to a pornographic site, but was bombarded with their popup windows when I went to an MP3 site – bigger fool me. Anyway, we are aware that the Internet contains “unsafe” materials and “stuff that can offend us” (as a teenage male nothing offends me) however, we know that we may see pornographic content, just as we know how to quit/close a browser window. If we see this stuff we will generally just quit out. Do people think we’re going to stare gob-smacked at the screen until our parents walk past and start screaming at us? NO… and one of the reason’s is because If we get caught at these sites, then we will be in a whole lot more trouble than I care to explain, so the sooner we’re out the better.

Many schools and institutes recommend putting a computer in a “public” place so parents can monitor what their kids are doing. For young kids this is fine, as they are more likely to accidentally stumble across this material, however I know that if a link points to www.playboy.com that there is an extremely high chance of it been pornographic. However do these institutes think about privacy? – I personally get “racked off” when idiots are peering over my shoulder and reading my instant messages or emails. What is the point in having a private conversation/email if the rest of the world is going to read it? What if I was to get all their emails and online communications forwarded to my home computer (apart from killing my bandwidth) would they care if I read every email they sent? I think so, how would you feel if every online transaction that was made by you was overseen by me?

We are aware that “chatting” is unsafe and that some fruit-loop may wish to contact us and gain access to personal information. Firstly, in the majority of Instant Messaging Programs I’ve trialed, in order for two parties to communicate the first must initiate the conversation by adding the second user. If the second user says “bugger off” then the conversation never takes place. “However if the second says yeah, I’ll talk to you” then they can communicate. Now I (personally) am pedantic about online privacy/safety/etc. I use a Hotmail account which changes once a year, I have a false online name and addresses are randomated for every site I visit (except for 3) however, If teens wish to extend their friendship to other people go ahead… Friendship is a two way thing, and in most cases if the “second” user does not know the “first” then they get blocked. End of sentence. (which explains why my blocked list is bigger than my allowed list)

If parents are so paranoid about Internet Safety, why not invest in NetNanny (which is easily defeated when you know how) or even safer – use Watchdog or Xtra CyberPatrol as your ISP, then at-least they know that there is no way to bypass these filters. Furthermore, Symantec and McAfee have Content Filters, you just enter in “secure” details and if they detect that these “secure” details are been sent online then you can get them either blocked, or get a warning screen appear to alert you of what’s happening. This software is relatively cheap, so why not invest in it?

Also, my school (which I can’t tell you – One of the rules in the “Principal’s Digest”) and many others, hire people to come and educate parents on Online Safety. I’m amazed at how many parents go. The majority of them use the internet at work and home. They are aware of the risks involved and will pass this information onto their kids so they don’t get “caught-out”. Really… Online Safety starts with the FAMILY. If reasonable guidelines are setup, then you shouldn’t need to invest in programs and safety monitors. For example my parents think I’m mature (stop laughing… I can still hear you… STOP IT) enough to handle the internet without a “baby-filter” and I am, although I have come across “bad” content, I just close the window and keep browsing.

I’m personally feed up by this online safety propaganda. I’m aware of the risks involved and so are the majority of other teenagers, so why stuff this stuff down us when we know it already and don’t need to know it any more?



CyberChuck

robsonde
26-11-2002, 05:51 PM
well said!

I think that for younger people 7-13 than a net filter is the best way to stop them browsinh into pron and such like.

for older teens 14+ most of them can ahck around a filter and they know what they are getting into (thats why they hack the filter :-) )

education is a better solution than censorship.

by the age of 14 most teens will have access to the internet at school and at home. even if both places have a filter then they can get access at one of many cyber-cafes.

if a 14 year old wants to find porn then o adult will be able to stop them, this is true both in cyberspace and at the corner dairy.

sam m
26-11-2002, 05:52 PM
Why?, because not all teenagers are as level headed or internet savvy as you. Good advice should be given loud, clear and often. The majority may well know. If the advice or the "propaganda" informs ONE person and that ONE person is able to avoid being subjected to any form of abuse then it is worth it.

sam m

cyberchuck
26-11-2002, 06:45 PM
Hey

Still, I agree if one person wants to view porn, then there is no way you can stop them, but through the "propoganda" stuffed down our necks we get sick of hearing this stuff - even the nutcases that enjoy porn get sick of it.

I was educated in Primary about "Net Threats" and the perverted molesters that go with it (back in the days of 33.6K modems) - and from there I have heard too much of it.

Did you watch the 20/20 documentary? if not then some mother advised her daughter about all these threats, but she had a computer in her room, and ended up dead about a month later. It was found out that she was hosting her own porn site, and that she had had cybersex with 20 year olds (she was 14), and had physically met up with some of them and had physical sex with them.

You cannot tell me that it works... Too much of something is bad (isn't that how the saying goes?) well, too much propaganda just minimalizes the effect that teachings on online safety have

sam m
26-11-2002, 07:46 PM
> Hey
>
> Still, I agree if one person wants to view porn, then
> there is no way you can stop them, but through the
> "propoganda" stuffed down our necks we get sick of
> hearing this stuff - even the nutcases that enjoy
> porn get sick of it.

You have got to be kidding!

Does this mean because YOU are sick of it then we should say "ok that's enough, every teenager in the whole wide world knows about the dangers online so we should stop trying to educate them" That would be like saying, "ok we have been driving now for 100 years, we don't need to teach anyone any more the Road Rules"
>
> I was educated in Primary about "Net Threats" and the
> perverted molesters that go with it (back in the days
> of 33.6K modems) - and from there I have heard too
> much of it.

So you speak for everyone younger than you who maybe today bought their very first computer.
>
> Did you watch the 20/20 documentary? if not then some
> mother advised her daughter about all these threats,
> but she had a computer in her room, and ended up dead
> about a month later. It was found out that she was
> hosting her own porn site, and that she had had
> cybersex with 20 year olds (she was 14), and had
> physically met up with some of them and had physical
> sex with them.

Exactly the more reason to get more education out there. Did the progamme say how many kids have been saved from learning about online dangers. From your own admission you have learnt through "Net Threats".
>
> You cannot tell me that it works... Too much of
> something is bad (isn't that how the saying goes?)
> well, too much propaganda just minimalizes the effect
> that teachings on online safety have

You are probably right here. Warnings about cigarettes have increase dramatically in the last 20 years yet people still smoke.

You say that you have heard enough, maybe so. I am at a loss as to what you are trying to say. Should we stop trying to educate teenagers about online safety or should we try a different approach? My girls are 4 and 2. By the time they are your age I would still like to see proactive education about this danger. Don't you agree?

sam m

cyberchuck
26-11-2002, 08:22 PM
Hey

Because we've been driving for hundreds of years we practically don't need to teach anyone the road rules. I mean when I (a few months back) got my liscence (another teenage holigan on the streets) I really didn't need the RoadCode book - everything that was in it I knew from watching my parents drive

Also, just because people read the road code and passes a practical test doesn't mean that their instantly good safe drivers. They have to learn how to properly drive, and even then it doesn't stop the boyracers.

Also how many 5 year olds do you know that buy computers? none that I know of. Although they may have access to computers ant the internet, they should still be educated in Net Safety (contradicts my point really) however, at a certain age can't you just say "Enoughs enough". My dad works in law enforcement, and although he "slaps people on the hand" in the long run it does nothing as the next week their right back with him

Although we have agreed that too much doesn't work, I agree that we should be warned, but really, schools and tv programs us warning us, just wastes 50mins of my school day. If anything shouldn't it be parent's that are warning their kids of the dangers of the internet, and although a PE teacher raised this point with the topics of Health (as in parents should teach kids about health and sex-ed, etc instead of wasting Phys. Ed time).

It seems like the only thing I've managed to do by this thread is contradict myself and say that parents need to take a pro-active role in their kids lives.

But, my sister absolutely hates her dad looking over her shoulder reading her instant conversations (can't blame her - I installed a keylogger the other day and, yeah, anyway) I realise dad's just making sure she's not up to mischief, but where is the line between safety and invasion of privacy?


Thanks for your comments.. Really got me thinking about this

sam m
26-11-2002, 08:48 PM
I see that the real point that you wanted to make is at what stage do you become an adult and respected and trusted to make the right decisions. And that the decisions that you make are private and informed. That is the decision of your parents and to them I applaud their active monitoring. At least you know they care, maybe the horrible statistics of teenagers targeted by predatory scumbags would be less if more parents took a more active monitoring role while kids are online.

Your earlier comments focused on the amount of warnings that are constantly fired (seemingly) at you. From the point of those that promote those safety warnings is that everyday new people join the internet, a % of them are uninformed young adults. They don't know who they are or how much they know.

While you are thinking about this, why not devise a plan/project that may get the message through to those who say "yeah I know it all" but ignore the heedings and get involved anyway. Similar to the SADD campaign which I think was student run in an effort to reduce drunk driving.

sam m

Baldy
26-11-2002, 09:20 PM
While there are Dilberts like the Childrens Comissioner, Mr Rodger McLay (an ex MP) there will be a lot of scare-mongering.

I prefer to teach my kids whats right or wrong on the Net, and so far touch wood.

Heather P
26-11-2002, 11:05 PM
The world is made up of people and people, both adults and kids, do stupid things.

We currently live in a climate of "responsibility". If something goes wrong then it is absolutely essential that "someone is to blame".

If a kid is found accessing an inappropriate site or passing on personal information then the blame war starts. Parents blame teachers, teachers blame parents, the community blames the parents AND the teachers and so it goes on.

Sorry kids, no matter how mature you think you are if adults don't cover their backs by ramming the rules down your throats then they are at risk themselves from the blame war.

Don't worry, it's not just "watching the kids". In the real world employers also watch their staff. One or two judges and principals have been in the hot seat lately for inappropriate use of work computers, others have also lost jobs for the same thing.

Basically it seems that the world is made up of a lot of slow learners so repetition is the only way of teaching the rules. Boring for the fast learners though.

cyberchuck
27-11-2002, 06:40 AM
Hey
When you put it this way

> I see that the real point that you wanted to make is
> at what stage do you become an adult and respected
> and trusted to make the right decisions.

I agree that parents need to take a proactive role in online safety, however, how do you inform parents about internet safety. The mum on the 20/20 documentary said she had told her daughter about the threats of it, and assumed that she was abiding by them. I see where you are coming from and if I was in the same situation (with kids) as you, then I would most certainly prefer them been constantly warned about the threats of online safety



> While you are thinking about this, why not devise a
> plan/project that may get the message through to
> those who say "yeah I know it all" but ignore the
> heedings and get involved anyway. Similar to the SADD
> campaign which I think was student run in an effort
> to reduce drunk driving.

How would this plan be targetted. Like the drunk driving ads on TV with the drunk who accidentally "drove" his friend on a motorbike off the cliff. The first few times I saw that i said "Yeah, good ad. Should give drunk drivers something to think about" and then from there (as it was shown so often) it changed to "just another ad"
The same goes with the music department at school. On one of the doors is a smokers body (really disgusting) and it has cancer, and something like Psoriosis or something (skin condition), etc. I thought "Great, might reduce the numbers of idiots at our school that smoke", then a week later someone pointed out to me "well to them (the smokers), it's like that drunk driving ad with you. They've seen it already and won't stop.

The hard question is HOW do you target parents about online safety for their kids? - schools run campaigns and get speakers in on the subject, there's (online) safety commissions setup in NZ http://www.safekids.com/ - which is kinda ironic. Kind of like putting an ambulance down the bottom of a cliff instead of a fence at the top (or how the saying goes) - Shouldn't warnings start before the kid(s) have access to a computer with online services? (like what schools are doing). Anyone can read out the statistics of kids that meet people from the internet, but it takes brains to figure out how to make people actually want to listen to them

Finally, (and I will understand if you don't want to answer this) when (if not now) your daughters start using the internet how do you plan on keeping them safe?

sam m
27-11-2002, 07:01 AM
Both use the internet now. At this age they simply click on the links that I put in their favourites. They can't read or write so they can't go searching (ie google). I am in the process of organising a 2nd computer just for them. This computer will be networked to mine and will be positioned side by side. By the time they are at your age (or thereabouts) then is the time I would take action similar to your fathers, or by that time there will probably be something out there (maybe a programme you developed) that will keep them safe but ensure they have privacy.

thanks for the dialogue

sam m

Clueless
27-11-2002, 08:58 AM
I'm a holiday Dad,
When my own son (11) uses the net here, i simply wander in and out of the office and have an awareness of what he is doing.. and it's all pretty harmless to (so far).

I think at this age if he stumbled across a porn site, he would just screww his face up and say OOo yukky (when he came into the bedroom one morning and saw me and better˝ cuddling naked he did just that)
Anyway that is just a guess, and i assume that with puberty being just round the corner that will change rapidly, and he'll want to know all about girls, naughty bits, and all that sort of thing.

I'm not going to rely on filters, and if he does find his way to pictures of girls and naughty bits i will have to explain that what he is seeing is silicon filled made up actresses, real people have real bodys with flaws and all, and that sex is an act of passion between 2 people who feel alot for eachother (in therie)...

At some point i expect i will have to try to get those sort of concepts accross anyway. Chances are it wont be internet porn that brings up the issues

.Clueless

Chilling_Silence
27-11-2002, 10:46 AM
Very well put! I've never been interested in that sort of thing... Just hit the close button when something does come up (As happens from time to time) and that's that, I'll go on with my surfing, but If I know the domain for that URL (Like MrNews.com) then I'll try to avoid that place.. Generally you can just forget about it.

IM - I hate it when anybody tries to read it.. Being a teenager, your peers tell you stuff hoping tat they can trust you with not letting anybody else know whats going on in their world, for fear of embarrasement, rejection, or anything like that. Privicay is needed from time to time.

As for key-logging. I've done it myself from time to time. A friend of mine suspected his father was lookin up porn in the middle of the night, and asked me how he'd check, and if found out to be true, how would his dad get help. He knew his mother would be pleased.
I told him how he could set it up to take a screenshot after a certain time, and also when certain keywords were entered.
He found his dad was getting up to naughty business.. and offered him help. His father hasnt done anything like that since.

So monitoring is good sometimes, but not just for the heck of it. If you sincerely suspect that something might be going on, then I'd say itd be alright, but just to catch up on the latest gossip between your kids and their friends is wrong. IMHO @ least!

I believe that being pro-active is good too. Before we first got the internet (4 years ago), my parents discussed with me the pornographc implications of the internet (As i was the driving force behind out family getting it). I knew it was out there, but they learned to trust that I was not going to go hunting it out, and if I happened to come across it accidentally that I wouldnt be punished, but that they would appreciate me talkign to them about it and how I might further avoid it. They did however say that If I did go hunting it out, then they'd simply phone up the ISP and cancel the account (Not realising there is free internet providers, but thats beside the point). I never went looking for it. I've come across it in my travels as most possibly have, but I just quikly leave the site. Clicking the Home button is the best solution usually (Provided it appears quickly - like google, but not XtraMSN).

Thats my two cents worth.

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

Baldy
27-11-2002, 10:53 AM
Another thing that just came to me.

Have any of you been watching music videos lately, or listened to the words in some of the songs on the hit-parade (yeah, yeah I'm in a time warp)

I think its more insidious than chat rooms on the net. Do you want to let your kids listen to songs about "killing your mama"

BALDY:-)

Chilling_Silence
27-11-2002, 10:58 AM
If you listen to the words of Cleaning Out My Closet - His "momma" was no momma and had been diagnosed with an illness where they make the child believe they are sick, and constantly treat them as sick. I dont know all the details, but yes, you are right.. Hot In Here - Do a search for lyrics by nelly.
There is a lot out there that this world is exposed to, and I'm right in the middle of it. but in saying that, a lot of new pmusic being put out isnt that bad. Jenny from the block doesnt seem to have any adverse themes.
That's a good point there...

Clueless
27-11-2002, 11:22 AM
I think the point is that as much as we may try to protect our kids from the world, we cannot keep them in a plastic bubble all thier lives.. and our parental responcibility is to guide when they find something new. There is only so much we can do to keep "bad" stuff away. I'm not saying just let them go for it here, but facing the fact that theyre going to meet it sooner or later and net-smut, although easy to blame is going to be one of the least of our worries.

Just like the net in real life theres a bad bad world out there, and a really cool one too!

I think it depends mainly on the outlook we choose to have, and nurture in our kids. Most of what we stummble on in life is based on where we look.

.Clueless