Do you have teens in your home along with a computer? Then you MUST watch this episode of Frontline- Growing Up Online. After you watch it, I HIGHLY recommend rewatching it with your older kids. My 12 and 14 (almost 15) year olds watched it last night.
Many Internet experts agree with the kids. “Everyone is panicking about sexual predators online. That’s what parents are afraid of; that’s what parents are paying attention to,” says Parry Aftab, an Internet security expert and executive director of WiredSafety.org. But the real concern, she says, is the trouble that kids might get into on their own. Through social networking and other Web sites, kids with eating disorders share tips about staying thin, and depressed kids can share information about the best ways to commit suicide.
Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline
I can’t begin to stress how important it is to know what your children are doing online at ALL times. I am a big advocate of parents having passwords and checking in periodically. I also highly suggest using filters. Personally, I like OpenDNS. I like being able to filter by category, but also to go in and block (or allow) a website under certain circumstances. I also use K9 Web Protection as a second filter as well as to limit computer time. K9 blocks internet access during a time period of my choosing. In my house, that’s usually about 10PM until 8AM. Best of all, both of these programs are FREE. I am not at all against using a keylogger type program to track the doings of an uncooperating sneaky teen as well.
For all of it’s good, the internet is evil. It causes people to lie and sneak around. As parents, we must stay on top of it.