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Old 06-03-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
Dagobahn Eagle
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The Internet today - anynomity and openness

I feel, and this is based on my observations and nothing more, that we're shifting more and more from anonymity to openness on-line. Blogs, LiveJournal-like services, message boards and chat rooms have for a long time been the opposite - anonymity employed on-line. As digital cameras and faster web connections grow more and more frequent, more and more people upload not only movies and pictures of themselves and each others, but also sexual orientations, relationship status, e-mail, phone numbers, past, present, and so on - far more personal information than you'd disclose to a complete stranger you've met on the street and only known for five seconds.

What does everyone think of this openness? Personally, I'm not sure what to think. This whole careless openness of the users worries me, particularly in the case of young teenagers - and even older teenagers - and preteens. If you don't want a stranger to know a given thing about you in reality, why disclose the same information to them on-line? Because of the physical distance? Because of the lack of consequence in 'real-life'? I suppose so, from own experience.

I suppose I'm rambling a bit here, but what's your opinion on the openness displayed on the Internet these days?

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Old 06-03-2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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I think that some people that lay so much out there on the internet are truly ignorant of what could happen to them. Still there are others that just don't care. I personally, do everything I can to safe guard my personal information and would caution everyone who asked for my opinion to do the same.

I am just finishing up an associate's degree in network security and it is truly amazing just how many different ways that someone could attack you, but social engineering is by far the biggest threat today.

I think that education, and supervision is the key especially when it comes to younger teenagers, and preteens. Parents should know where their children are on the internet , and should explain to them what they should and should not be telling people they don't know online. Also, in that regard I don't want to hear anything about invasion of privacy or any crap like that. Parents have a responsibility to know what their children are doing and there so many types of monitoring software that will allow you to do just that.

So, there's my two cents


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Old 06-03-2007, 09:09 PM   #3
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I think a good example of this is what Deviant Art has been turning into. More and more people are posing nude and or in trashy clothes, posting the pictures, and then calling it art. You can search nearly any big topic now and all you end up with is half of what you want, and the other half porn.
For some reasons it's good, some it's not. Online you can have a debate and talk it out, but if we were to meet in real life and debate like this I coul point out a number of users even here that would probably hurt you when it got heated up. But then again on the same note people will be complete jerks to people online for the reasons they can't get hurt.

I stay away from myspace, facebook, blogs, and just about everything else. I rarely visit forums nowdays and only post personal info if I feel comfortable doing so. I rarely speak about my personal life in real life anyway, so I guess thats irrelevent. The only reason I continue to visit Deviant Art is because I look over the art for ideas and references nomatter how irritating the porn is.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:44 PM   #4
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I live by the two rules of 'never post your full name' and 'never post your pictures' - the latter broken on practically every single message board of significant size on the Web.

If I want to be personal, I call myself Řyvind, or Řyvind W. in Norway as it's a rather common name. Never, ever my full name. The exception is forms for sites I trust, but even then I'm reluctant to give real information. I provide my age, the name of my hometown and nation, and that I'm a student and RC volunteer, and not much more than that. Anything that can identify me directly... I try to withhold.

Pornography is another scary avenue. As I mentioned, it's very easy to snap pictures and movies of yourself and upload it. It's a lot harder for them to go away once they're up there. It's very unsettling how many teens upload their private organs, breasts, butts, and other private features without really realizing what they're doing. A lot end up regretting their decision afterwards, and there's no way to know where the pictures go, who have them, or when or where they're going to surface.

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Old 06-03-2007, 10:14 PM   #5
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I'm very aware of how available information is on the internet. I don't like it and thus I don't have myspace, facebook, or social networking sites in general. I don't use my real name on anything. I use separate emails for different things, I don't volunteer info on my personal life etc., etc. I have never once posted a picture of myself online for any reason.

I have no intention of being another person burned by the boss or whoever searching me on google and deciding he doesn't like what I do/think on my own time.

It seems that a lot of people don't quite realize how difficult it is to get rid of stuff once it hits the internet, if they even think about it. Bad day for them.


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Old 06-03-2007, 11:06 PM   #6
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I do have a myspace page, but even if my boss were to find it the only thing he'd find would be the basic information, and pictures of me, my wife, and my 8 month old. There is absolutely no "intimate information" such as b-day, email address, phone number etc...and there are no political statements, or opinions about co-workers or any of that other crap people post an somehow think that they won't have to answer for what they say.


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Old 06-04-2007, 12:03 AM   #7
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Some information I'm OK sharing, some I'm not. If someone wanted to dig hard enough, they'd find out a lot about any one of us anyway.

We teach kids not to trust people they don't know, but for whatever reason, people don't feel like 'strangers' on the internet. That's probably because we can't see them for what they are, and it's incredibly easy for someone to lie about themselves online. For instance, an adult can pretend to be a 14 year old boy, talk about things that another 14 year old might be interested in, pretend to befriend that person, and lure them into a pedophile trap. They couldn't do that in real life because they wouldn't be able to take on the false teen role. Teens have a tendency to think that everyone who says they're a teen is a teen, and that all teens are OK to talk to. Well, actually, it's not unique to teens, I guess, but they're more likely to believe what they read because they haven't learned to develop their crap detector yet.

We allow our kids to go on the internet, but they have to be in the same room with us while online. They like to play some games on Nick or Nick junior and that's OK with us. We require them to use a screenname to identify themselves, and we don't allow them to input any information unless we approve it. We bookmark the sites and they have to access the site from the bookmark rather than typing it in (so they don't accidentally end up on a porn site). They won't be allowed to have computers in their rooms even as teens--it's too tempting to enter inappropriate things, or visit inappropriate sites, when they know they don't have parents keeping an eye on things. We may revisit that decision if filtering/blocking software becomes sophisticated enough. Is it more work? A little bit more, yes, but it beats getting a call from the cops that my 15 year old was nearly a victim of a crime perpetrated by someone s/he met online.


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Old 06-04-2007, 04:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
They won't be allowed to have computers in their rooms even as teens--it's too tempting to enter inappropriate things, or visit inappropriate sites, when they know they don't have parents keeping an eye on things. We may revisit that decision if filtering/blocking software becomes sophisticated enough. Is it more work? A little bit more, yes, but it beats getting a call from the cops that my 15 year old was nearly a victim of a crime perpetrated by someone s/he met online.
Personally, I think you're being a little too strict in this matter Jae no offense intended. I think most 15 year olds know, by common sense that you shouldn't meet with a 'stranger' they've met online. I've never had a bad experience from online friends, I think the pedophiles who hunt teens online is not as widespread as the media portrays it to be.

And getting on topic...I never share my last name, I can share my first name Alf though. I don't see any harm in doing that.

And I think it would be a good idea to teach kids in school about internet security. I've always known that I should never post my phone number anywhere etc. but I guess some kids don't know that.

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Old 06-04-2007, 06:45 AM   #9
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I think it's important that today's teenagers are taught to handle the internet responsibly. But I do also think that most of it is just plain common sense. I was never specifically told to refrain from giving away personal information...but I didn't. If people REALLY want to find you though, they will.

As far as inappropriate websites are concerned well... everybody got his own opinion on that. Adult content is adult content and young teenagers should have no access to that kind of content. I think most teenagers know for themselves when they're "ready" for adult content and if that's before they're 18 (or 21), so be it.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
We allow our kids to go on the internet, but they have to be in the same room with us while online. They like to play some games on Nick or Nick junior and that's OK with us. We require them to use a screenname to identify themselves, and we don't allow them to input any information unless we approve it. We bookmark the sites and they have to access the site from the bookmark rather than typing it in (so they don't accidentally end up on a porn site). They won't be allowed to have computers in their rooms even as teens--it's too tempting to enter inappropriate things, or visit inappropriate sites, when they know they don't have parents keeping an eye on things. We may revisit that decision if filtering/blocking software becomes sophisticated enough. Is it more work? A little bit more, yes, but it beats getting a call from the cops that my 15 year old was nearly a victim of a crime perpetrated by someone s/he met online.
I think it is a stereotype to say that people are lurking in all parts of the interwebs looking to seduce your kids. It is overdone on TV, the News, Dr.Phil, and Opera. It is true you will probably meet people like this if you go fishing around, but the fact is if you have any common sense then you can avoid it. Imo, being a good parent requires you to teach your children common sense and how to use their brain every now and then. It is a parents fault if this happens to their children, not the child or teens... to an extent. Now, I know you will say "a nine year old can be seduced easily because they have not learned it yet", to which I reply... my parents taught me about all this when I was first starting out on the Internet freely at age 10. Whenever I ran into someone I didn't like or though was getting a little too close, I simply ignored them. The only instance of really be sucked into one was when I was 15, and I pulled my mind together and got out as fast as I could before it started and learned a valuable few lessons in life that I will carry on to my dieing day. Some lessons can be taught, some learned. I learned a few things and am, I think, a better person because of them.

And as for screening the interwebs for inappropriate content and stopping your children from going through that phase... good luck is all I can really say. You can stop the Internet, but you cannot stop magazines, videos, and pictures coming into the house and rooms and staying hidden. I think we can all agree that puberty is harder to avoid than simply blocking the Internet, as something as silly as a firewall can be so easily bypassed its hilarious if you are computer savy at all. My 8, 10, and 13 year old cousins can bypass the firewall at their house to surf the web without their parents ever knowing and erase all cookies and files to make it look like they never even got on. "Adult Content"? They should just call it Teen and Adult Content and get on with life. And even if ou somehow stop all of that, the imagination is still a powerful tool and the pressure of never being able to express themselves under a censor pressured house can lead to my next point:

From what I have seen, parents that censor their children too much end up having kids that enter their rebel teen stage on a level the parents never expect. Ever. Not in their wildest dreams. Now, me and my sister never really went through the huge rebel stage of going crazy goth or emo, doing crazy stuff to our body, and just plainly acting a little out of human. Why? Our parents allowed us both computers in our rooms (as an example), a lot of privileges, and punished us when we abused those privileges. Putting boundaries on a privilege and not giving it all together are two entirely different things.

Your claims are justified, just don't go overboard. It -will- bite you back in the end. I'm just saying this as someone a little closer to their teen years than you and someone who might have had closer look at current teen generations... no offense intended at all of cource as you most probably have a much much better idea of taking care of kids than I do.

But here I am, ranting about taking care of kids when I don't care about having them myself. You can ignore me if you want :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Some information I'm OK sharing, some I'm not. If someone wanted to dig hard enough, they'd find out a lot about any one of us anyway.
Ain't that the truth. With the right programs, I could find out all of your IP address', trace those to their origins, puts those origins into a map program, than simply look through a phone-book of the area. Not a simply task, but it can and does happen.
I have personally seen people so paranoid about losing their identity or being killed through the Internet that they downright refuse to use IM programs of any shape or form, but post on forums all the time and play online games. Ignorance in human beings is truly staggering sometimes :P

Last edited by True_Avery; 06-04-2007 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:09 AM   #11
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As you mentioned, internet connections are getting faster and accessibility easier. Now more and more people know about the Internet and how to use. Hence, that brings in people who have no idea about computers or anonymity. I used to read a lot of computer magazines before I ever got a computer, and so had a lot of stuff to start with.

Many people I know on the other hand, were introduced to the internet without any other computer training. And yes, I consider anonymity to be an important part of computer and internet usage.

Honestly, there really isn't much you can do about it. Internet is a place much, much larger than our planet. But distance rules don't apply - you can cover a million miles in the same time it takes to cover a couple. The point is, you never know what's happening to your privacy in this massive web. You could post your photo in playful glee and the next thing you know, somebody's morphed it with a pornstar. And still, there is no denying the usefulness of such services like MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and so on. (This statement is not open to debate)

We really can't do anything to those who do not understand anonymity. We can practice it ourselves - something like a form of virtual Buddhism. Those who prefer to be more open, can suffer its drawbacks (and reap its benefits). Google my name and you won't find any obtrusive information. Google someone else's and you might find their life on your monitor.


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Old 06-04-2007, 08:38 AM   #12
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warning rant allert

Personally I don't think it is bad that people give away personal info, as long as they know and accept the consequences

The problem, (I belive), comes from the fact that people often don't know the consequences. So I think schools should teach sensible net use, and make the kids/teenagers understand all effects of their actions, not just know about them. I also think parents should take a course in sensible net use, as many of my friends never got any restrictions from their parents, and did some stupid things because of it.

Personally, I have probably given away my real name and surname enough times that anyone could find out who I am (last I checked, no one got the same name as me), what I believe in how I stand politically etc. I know the consequences, but at the same time it prevents me from using the "protection" of the internet to act like a jerk.

And Jae, be carefull in restricting your teenager(s). My parents gave me acces to sites with voilence when they realised I weren't affected by it. The result was that I only went to a few violent sites, and then mostly to learn (things like geting better at a game, and learning about the nasty part of history). A few of my friends however, had much stricter parrents, and ended up going to discusting violent sites just to "rebell" and be "cool". As far as porn is conserned, most teens as far as I know find anything above "soft" discusting, and only go to such sites after becomming grovn ups (where I live 18 years). Unfourtantly some of my friends with orders from their parrents to stay away from such things, went to "hard core" sites just to show how "cool" and "mature" they where.
Moral of the story is: give your children acces, but keep a surveylance program to check if they go to bad sites more than once.
And in case I sounded like I'm telling you how to raise your children, it is just a sugestion, and since no one knows your children better than you (and possibly jimbo), I'm sure you'l do what's best for them.

edit: seems True_Avery got there before me, but for what it's worth I am 17 and probably remember a bit better what it's like being a teenager
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:54 AM   #13
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I still hate that you have to put your SS# on paperwork, nevermind the loss of privacy that is gripping the internet. I also believe it foolish to put too much (hell, almost any) personal info on the web. I've only ever bought something online once, and then only with a card that was essentially maxed out. Haven't noticed anything suspicious in the bills......yet.


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Old 06-05-2007, 03:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
I still hate that you have to put your SS# on paperwork, nevermind the loss of privacy that is gripping the internet.
Funny that you mention that. If it's optional I never put it on the paperwork either.


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Old 06-05-2007, 06:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
I also believe it foolish to put too much (hell, almost any) personal info on the web.
So, assumed I go and put my full name, nickname, birthday, address, some more or less self explaining photos, arm length, sexual orientation and preferences, favourite colour, favourite ice flavour, favourite what ever, and my everyday life's content into the internet.


Now what?


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Old 06-05-2007, 07:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Some information I'm OK sharing, some I'm not. If someone wanted to dig hard enough, they'd find out a lot about any one of us anyway.

We teach kids not to trust people they don't know, but for whatever reason, people don't feel like 'strangers' on the internet. That's probably because we can't see them for what they are, and it's incredibly easy for someone to lie about themselves online. For instance, an adult can pretend to be a 14 year old boy, talk about things that another 14 year old might be interested in, pretend to befriend that person, and lure them into a pedophile trap. They couldn't do that in real life because they wouldn't be able to take on the false teen role. Teens have a tendency to think that everyone who says they're a teen is a teen, and that all teens are OK to talk to. Well, actually, it's not unique to teens, I guess, but they're more likely to believe what they read because they haven't learned to develop their crap detector yet.

We allow our kids to go on the internet, but they have to be in the same room with us while online. They like to play some games on Nick or Nick junior and that's OK with us. We require them to use a screenname to identify themselves, and we don't allow them to input any information unless we approve it. We bookmark the sites and they have to access the site from the bookmark rather than typing it in (so they don't accidentally end up on a porn site). They won't be allowed to have computers in their rooms even as teens--it's too tempting to enter inappropriate things, or visit inappropriate sites, when they know they don't have parents keeping an eye on things. We may revisit that decision if filtering/blocking software becomes sophisticated enough. Is it more work? A little bit more, yes, but it beats getting a call from the cops that my 15 year old was nearly a victim of a crime perpetrated by someone s/he met online.
I think that you might be being a little too strict, there. Screening a fifteen year old's computer is a little overprotective, I think (No offence). But i think that you'll change your mind in time, maybe, maybe not. As circumstances change, your plans for those circumstances will also change, and you'll find yourself doing what you would never thought you would have done at this point a few years ago.

I'm a mid-teen myself, and I can't imagine having my parents watching evreything I do on the internet. Of course, I'm not going to post my last name, address, blah, blah, blah on Forums, least of all not chat rooms, but it does feel a bit strange to know that you are being watched by your parents all the time, even if you yourself know that you are doing nothing wrong.

I disagree when you say that teens instinctually open up a little more to other teens. Well, for me, the younger they are, the better. Because, I'm a teen myself, and I can't seem to trust other teens unless they are my friends.


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Old 06-05-2007, 12:13 PM   #17
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I'm a mid-teen myself, and I can't imagine having my parents watching evreything I do on the internet. Of course, I'm not going to post my last name, address, blah, blah, blah on Forums, least of all not chat rooms, but it does feel a bit strange to know that you are being watched by your parents all the time, even if you yourself know that you are doing nothing wrong.
Hehe, my parents had firewall locks on both of me and my sisters computer. A damn nice one too. It cut us off of inappropriate sites, even though it was a little over sensitive, and cut internet out at 10 to 12 every night. Was annoying for a bit, but we both still ended up figuring out how to by-pass it and make it irrelevant.

Quote:
I disagree when you say that teens instinctually open up a little more to other teens. Well, for me, the younger they are, the better. Because, I'm a teen myself, and I can't seem to trust other teens unless they are my friends.
I think it depends on the person. I opened up to people I respected, both adult and teen. Teens who were at my maturity level or higher I enjoyed talking to and being around a lot. Adults did not unconditionally get my respect because they were older, they had to earn it and when they did they were just as fun to talk to as well. But between the two I talked much more to other teens than the adults, and I think that is true of most people.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:24 PM   #18
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It's amazing how fast people forget how mature 14- and 15-year old people really are. Come 15, you're not a kid anymore. You've embarked on 'teenhood', you're in high school, and if it wasn't for those raging hormones, you'd be positively mature (being 15 and a sophomore was awesome).

But yes, leave pictures of your kids off of the web. Bad enough when your own photos are there - when it's your children you're overstepping the line by far.

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Old 06-05-2007, 04:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
So, assumed I go and put my full name, nickname, birthday, address, some more or less self explaining photos, arm length, sexual orientation and preferences, favourite colour, favourite ice flavour, favourite what ever, and my everyday life's content into the internet.

Now what?
*Ping!*
IM from: Johnny 'Tinkie-Winkie' Nookiemeister: I would like to "get to know you better," *slobbers* Just give me a call at 555-LURV!!!

You all are forgetting this one very important fact:

I was a teenager once, too.

I haven't grown so old that I've forgotten what it's like, either. It's amazing how mature I _thought_ I was at 15, 17, or even 20, and 20ish years later I now know just how wrong that thought was. I trusted pretty much anyone, particularly teens and most adults. If I'd had access to the internet, I would have believed pretty much that anyone saying they were teens were, in fact, teens, especially if they knew the lingo (which was Valley Girl talk at the time--Ugh!). How many of you assume someone's writing the truth online all the time? Most of us do. Jimbo and I both were more trusting as teenagers than we should have, and both of us are very lucky we didn't end up getting burned badly.

Here are the Statistics from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children listed on the www.netsmartz.org site. The full pdf is here. Those stats are not overblown or sensationalized, they're pretty basic numbers. I find them frightening, because I think that a lot of these stats are actually under-reporting, because not all kids are going to admit to contact with strangers. 34% of kids encountered unwanted exposure to porn/explicit material that they did _not_ want to see. That's not including the kids that _did_ want to see it. My kids have a 1 in 3 chance of being exposed _unwillingly_ to porn. Porn is not just some innocuous pictures of naked people doing The Wild Thang. It's linked to increased sexual crimes (rape, etc.), among a number of other issues that probably should go in the porn thread.

My kids have a 1 in 7 chance of receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation from someone. So for every 7 people, 1 of them is some sicko trying to make contact with my kid. That doesn't concern you or you think that's overreacting? Well, maybe when you have your own kids, you might feel differently. If you can't relate to that, think about a younger brother, sister, or other child relative. How do you feel knowing that 13% of all the people they talk to online are trying to talk sex inappropriately to him or her?

30 million kids are online. You don't think that makes a very target-rich environment for pedophiles? Think again. 60% of kids have myspace/xanga/etc accounts, 30% have put pictures up. You may as well open up a shopping center for pedophiles to go visit--"I'll take 2 blondes and a redhead from Punxatawny, to go please." Teens chum the water with all their personal information, and the sharks are eating it up.

My sister-in-law, God bless her, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. She met a guy online who is from Pakistan who claimed to be in banking. He declared his 'true love' for her over the 'net. She had to fly to England to marry him because he couldn't get a visa to the US. We couldn't get any information on him from her, and she knows his name, but not a whole lot else except he says he loves her, and she believes him. We can't find the bank he supposedly works at, what he does at the bank, how he gets his money, or even a full name. Does this raise any red flags for anyone? There are bad people on the net. A lot of bad people.

Exploitation is happening all the time, and I don't want my kids to be victims of it. Their safety is worth far more to me than their net privacy. Some things may be strict, yes, but why would usage in your bedroom be any different from in a public space in your home, unless you have something to hide from your parents? Right now our bedroom has turned into the family living room because it's huge and comfortable and has the desktop and TV/VCR/DVD to go along with the laptops. The kids hang out in our room and play games or watch TV while we read or surf the net. No one's bothered in the least. As long as they stay within the parameters that we've set for them on the net, I don't bug them. The only thing I do is make sure they're still on a safe site, and that's an easy glance over at their screens and it doesn't disrupt their fun. My kids are a little young to be even thinking about thinks like porn, and they'd probably be grossed out by it more than anything. However, that doesn't mean I want them having exposure to it.

Yes, I know some filters are fairly easy to get around. I plan on setting up the computers/filters/etc. with tech-savvy teens in mind while balancing social and research needs.

This is not a decision we made out of the blue. It involved looking at a number of articles in PC magazines, NCMC, Consumer Reports, and so forth on net safety, specifically regarding kids. We'll explain to them when appropriate why we've set the specific parameters in place that we have, and why it's important to stay within those parameters. I'm discovering that with 4 computers in the house with wi-fi, a PS2, and a few other AV items, that we're one of the more 'wired/techy' homes in our neighborhood, and I expect we'll end up with other people's kids in our home using those things (which is fine by us--then we know what our kids are doing and that they're safe). So I have not only my kids to worry about, but others as well, who may not have had the same internet safety discussions that we're already having with our kids. Actually, we already are sort of Playstation Central (and I don't see that changing any time soon), and getting the kids out of the house to get fresh air and exercise is a bit of an adventure sometimes. We also go through snacks a lot faster than we used to....

If you do nothing else in this thread, check out the links so that you can learn or review safety on the net. I learned a couple things that I didn't already know.


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Old 06-05-2007, 05:30 PM   #20
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I was going to reply, but Jae beat me to it.........so 'nuff said.


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Old 06-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #21
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Err.. I was talking about myself or adults in the first place, not kids. But I think I DIDN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH!! XD

However, while I second most of your post, Jae, I'll have to add that the internet isn't the only place with bad people hiding behind a mask and trying to do tricks. And my question was rather "what if I put my data openly into the net and why it would be foolish"? I mean, yeah, now random people know my name and have seen that I wear my friend right hand side. But ain't that the point of putting things into the net? I mean, I did not put it there to hide it. Will I regret it? I don't know, maybe. But this is a different question.

Another point is, to trick your sister-in-law, personal info like full name and address were not needed. She would have fallen for a phone call or a letter too, if you ask me.


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Old 06-05-2007, 06:53 PM   #22
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Yes, I know some filters are fairly easy to get around. I plan on setting up the computers/filters/etc. with tech-savvy teens in mind while balancing social and research needs.
I once knew this 13 year old girl who got caught hacking when she was nine.

Firewalls and other security systems work for us older ones. For children and young teens who aren't afraid to experiment, though, they're a breeze.

Quote:
I haven't grown so old that I've forgotten what it's like, either. It's amazing how mature I _thought_ I was at 15, 17, or even 20, and 20ish years later I now know just how wrong that thought was. I trusted pretty much anyone, particularly teens and most adults.
I hope this doesn't mean you believe the rest of us trust anyone, just 'cause you did.

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:32 PM   #23
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I hope this doesn't mean you believe the rest of us trust anyone, just 'cause you did.
No offense, but QFE Jae.

Saying that teens are easily fooled and lured into things is a stereotype, even if it is true to an extent like all stereotypes. Statistics focus on stereotypes most of the time I find. In high school I knew plenty of the people at school would be easily fooled and that most of them had myspaces with just about everything but the kitchen sink for information. My friends, or at least my closer ones, were all damn smart and intelligent and mature far beyond normal high school years. Why would I mention such a small minority? Because of parents.

Parents, Parents, Parents. I cannot say enough how important the teachings of a parent are. A parent who over protects and becomes afraid of every little thing that may harm their kid are blind in my opinion, as is the same with one that under protects. Sure, parents will always be afraid and for damn good reason but trying to censor them from a world that in reality will catch up with them sooner or later is a little foolish. I knew things my freshman year of high school about life that was brand new to people my same age because my parents introduced me to things early and explained them before I ever got the ideas to experiment, and I made a lot of important mistakes young and learned lessons that I know adults to this day still have not gotten into her head. And because I made those mistakes, my younger sister learned from me and didn't learn them either.

It may sound stupid and risky, but sometimes the best way to learn is to screw up. Sometimes big, sometimes small. I agree fully that you should protect your children at all costs, but blocking them from the ability to make mistakes on their own and seeing the world for what it truly is is a crime in some ways. There will always be people out there who would seduce your kid, just like there will always be people ho would want to rape, murder, and steal from you. I am aware of all of these risks of simply walking out my door. But I still walk out my door. I don't firewall myself in my own house.

I was on my first Internet forums when I was 10, and I met a lot of distasteful people. I posted, talked, and played online games and that was a big eye opener for me personally. The fact people will post their minds freely on the internet is a blessing and a curse for a fresh mind. I very very quickly got the switch to click in my head that I needed to be careful of what I did at all times and so on. My forums experience years ago actually helped me greatly with my social life and my outlook on life as a whole. That may seem silly from a bunch of forums, but it is true.

And yes, porn. It is absolutely everywhere, and it will get into your kids hands one way or another. You can refuse to give them internet. You can refuse to give them an entire computer. All you are doing is depriving them of technology and a chance at information at that point. I know you remember what it was like to be a teen and in all honesty it doesn't change much from generation to generation. If you truly do, then you must realize that the Internet is one in hundreds of ways reality makes its cruel little way into peoples minds. Peer pressure, gossip, the news, TV, friends, enemies... all different ways to learn and absorb what you seem to be so passionately trying to avoid.

And finally... pedophiles. Jae, get rid of the Internet. Erase it from existence. Your kids are still at risk of being molested. They are still at risk of being kidnapped. By just stepping foot outside your house they are at risk, as you said, and we all are. We take risks getting into our car to drive, we take risks going to places we don't know about, we take risks talking to people we don't know. Reality waits behind every door that life has to offer, and putting a blindfold over your children's eyes will not protect anything but their sight. Now, I realize your children are still young. I applaud you for taking care of them like this young, but saying it will continue into their teen year... give me a break... or rather, give them a break. Maybe my view in time will change this, maybe yours will in time, but in the end it matters not because the kids are going to find out sooner or later. Be it 9 years old, or 20, or even 40. I say the earlier they learn it, the better they can understand it and help to protect themselves. Your sister is a good example of this, as (I am just assuming) did not learn the lessons younger and they come to bite her fully when she is older. I find the older you get, the harder these lessons tend to hit you...

Now, I am not claiming to know more than you or to be more mature than you. You still have much more life experience than I do and if my life keeps going at the pace It's going, ever will. But I also believe my view outside of a worry for my own kids and outside a personal worry for myself gives me a certain freedom of mind to say things that I probably would not say if I was in your shoes. I have seen a lot of parents make mistakes, and a lot of kids suffer from it and take their parents down with them. Over protection is a crime in my opinion. An absolute crime to a child's mind. Now, I know that you are going to allow them many things but I am just taking the lockout of Internet at face value. Teens that I have seen mothered and protected are the ones I have personally seen make the bigger mistakes in life because they had the urge to Rebel. Rebellion. A fantastic thing during puberty that usually makes one do exactly what their parents don't want. You baby your teen and tell him not to smoke, he might rebel and smoke just for the sake of rebelling for example. I am not saying this happens to everybody, in fact mostly a minority, but am bringing it up for the sake of debate.

Again, you most likely have a far better understanding of this than I do. I really do try to learn from the mistakes I do and the mistakes others make, and am simply trying to put that knoledge into words -just- in case, in a slim chance, you may not have learned that lesson yet. But I also have many lessons to learn in life myself and am looking forward to them.

Quote:
My kids have a 1 in 7 chance of receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation from someone. So for every 7 people, 1 of them is some sicko trying to make contact with my kid.
Even if it is true your kids should have the knowledge (at least by the age of 15) to stay away from people like that. They have websites to find where known pedophiles are and I would be surprised if you didn't find a few in your neighborhood. Protection helps a lot, but knowledge is an equally powerful tool.

And I challenge your statistic with my own. 1 in 3 women, sometime in their life, will be abused sexually. 3 women I see walking on the street and there is a high chance one of them has been abused. That does not stop me from leaving my house or being afraid in any way. As you have said before, all things happen for a reason. I still have my doubts about that saying, but instead use my own that is similar to Kreia's, for every action there is an equally bad and good reaction that comes from it. I am not saying I am just sitting down and waiting for something to happen, but rather I know the possibilitys and am content with learning the lessons of life that are presented every day.

In closing: let your kids screw up, but still watch over them and proctect them without overdoing it. The harder lessons we have learned in life, and we all have a few, have shaped and formed the people we are today. If you had the chance, would you let your kids do those same mistakes in order to learrn? I know I would, and strangely enough I learned many of my life lessons and gained much of my "maturity" by simply exploring the internet.

Jeez I typed that up fast. Something tells me I should have paid more attention :P

EDIT: Ah, as I was typing this a kidnapping case came up on the news of a girl in a crouded public parking lot. That sucks, yet is ironically timed.

Personally, this topic fascinates me and I am honestly very much interested in your views on this Jae. Some of what I am saying is opinion, others are trying to be neutral, and the rest some stuff to see what our reaction and reply is. I wouldn't mind talking about this in an IM chat actually. As I said, your view is interesting and fun to debate against.

Last edited by True_Avery; 06-05-2007 at 10:48 PM.
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