Read more.Let's hear it from the mums and dads; do you let your kids go online?
Read more.Let's hear it from the mums and dads; do you let your kids go online?
I have 2 daughters aged 10 & 11 who use the internet, relatively moderated in both content and time allowed.... and it frightens the fook out of me to be honest! My 10 year old is still quite girly girly and sticks to appropriate sites, my 11 year old is getting more curious.
I often have a wander through her history which makes me feel really uncomfortable but I still think she's too young to 'let go' more.
The worst thing is Youtube! I don't use it too often but she wrote a comment a couple of months ago, just a simple child comment in an age appropriate clip, and the reply was from some scumbag asking for a blow job. I reported it to Youtube who did sweet F.A. about it. Reading through nearly any clip's comments after a paragraph or 2 results in the most vulgar or racist language from cretins.
Try as I might I couldn't find a way to disable comments properly and have resorted to element hiding through ad block plus, which is a very fiddly way of doing things and is still hard to keep on top of when so many sites these days, no matter how innocent, rely on social aspect letting everyone post comments, usually unmoderated. Being a parent these days has just got a lot harder, but I refuse to join the ever increasing crowd of chavvy parents who think "oh well, out of site out of mind"
I have 2 kids with access to the net at home.
My daughter got her laptop Christmas before last and when I was checking the history to see what she was doing found a link to a rather vulgar image. Needless to say that she is not allowed the machine in her bedroom anymore. I did install a web protection software on it but somehow she managed to bypass it, to this day we don't know whether it was her or her brother that was looking for that stuff.
We are now using K9 Web Protection which allows us to time restrict net access, block specific sites and it also blocks Google searches for anything that has profanity or lurid type material. Its a REALLY good free program, recommend it to any parent out there.
I've recently bought a Spamdroid tablet for my 7yo sister, Found a perfect little app which allows me to control what she has access to, it replaces the home screen, so she can't get out of it, I add the apps and whitelist pages to what she can see to browse the web, I don't monitor what she is doing, thats taking away her privacy, (yes im talking about privacy with a 7 yo) this way i know what she's allowed on so I can let her be with the tablet.
Its a minefield (as others have already described) WITHOUT the social sites included.
My two sons are both under the age of 11, yet I restrict them passively with filtering.
Its quite tricky even for someone with my years of experience to get right, so it also does scare me for the other naive parents that do not have a check on what the kids are up to.
I know some parents who have less a clue on anything technical then their 8,9,10year olds - so little chance of their children not bumping into something they should not really see or read.
I dont let my daughter go on the internet at all - without sitting with her.
she is only 7 months old though!
Thanks for the tip Ferral - saves time on research later!
Both my children have been using the internet since 3 years of age when I built them their 1st computers. I make sure anything 'dodgy' is automatically blocked and my youngest's computer is set up to only load sites I've vetted, plus his PC is next to mine (as was my eldest's when she was younger).
The long and the short of it is my daughter (age 10) is now a wizz on a computer now, runs her own website and has helped in ICT lessons at school. My son can happily play on sites and enjoy his computer which he does most days instead of TV time. I would never let him sit there all day though, everything in moderation.
I really believe having a good understanding of computers, and the Internet, from a young age can only be a good thing for later life.
Am I comfortable with the kids (11 and 14) using the Internet? Not particularly. At one point I tried using Microsoft's Family Safety software, and while it seemed pretty good, there always seemed to be stuff that "slipped through the cracks". Plus most kids the age my two are have smartphones, tablets, etc - and Big Brother progs for those are either pretty hard to get or not exactly feature rich.
So these days - especially with the age of my kids - I've fallen back to the education ploy - tell them openly and freely about the dangers out there (they've both done a couple of the scout IT badges which help a lot) and trust them to be sensible. Heck even if I did come down with the lead boot, then they could always get around that by visiting friends with less "concerned" parents - like the one that won't buy DVD's/BD's because "all the latest films are available for free on the download sites".
I remember seeing an exasperated comment (from a teacher?) that it wasn't the kids that needed policing on the internet ... it was the parents! At the time that made me smile, but with the benefit of hindsight I'm now seeing more than a grain of truth in that comment. Teach the kids and then maybe they can spread the info amongst their peers and besides, if the Daily Mail is to believed, today's teenager girl is tomorrow's (literally) single mother - so teach our kids and they can teach their kids.
One thing though - my employer (and I'm sure other big corporations are the same) have some pretty decent training courses available on cyber security etc. I can't help wondering if the hardware manufacturers could/should do more - so HP/Lenovo/Acer/Sony etc - either individually or as a group - offer some training resources that parents can use to educate their kids who've just got a nice shiny laptop for Christmas. Just a thought...
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Feral, K9 is very weak. There are tons of videos on Youtube on how to disable it!
This is what I do :
- Windows Steadystate
- Making minor's accounts as Limited accounts
- Norton Safety Minder [ FREE ]
It is very hard policing kids and it is a losing battle. You will only be able to block 80-90% of stuff.
My duaghter is 6 and no, I don't let her use the .net alone.
Despite the fact I use computers alot at home and as a family have a fair few connected devices(mediapc, home server, my own personal computer, netbook, ipad, phone, raspberry pi) she's not really interested in much besides cbeebies site and iplayer.
But if she were, I class the social aspect of the net the same as going to the playground.
She can have some freedom but I'll constantly watch her and make sure she's safe.
As said, normal sites like youtube can have horrible comments or strong language in the video.
She's aware that there are dangers and innapropriate things in real life, no different really online.
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The internet is a vast wealth of knowledge but is ruined by sick and disgusting people.
My kids are too young just now but when they are older, the will be watched like a hawk.
Hopefully then Facebook will be banned ( cos it the downfall of person to person interaction ) and generally the web will be a safer place.
No likely though.
Better to Burn out than Fade Away
My oldest is four year old. I sometimes show her YouTube clips on the HTPC and she knows how to select others once they're finished. Occasionally she picks clips I don't really approve off. Kids stuff still, but there's some crappy kids stuff. I don't think that any software will be able to help me there.
When she learns to read that would be more problematic. The standard parental controls programs probably don't do a good job for languages other than English, which could be a problem. On the other hand, the volume of dangerous stuff in English is larger, so she might be a little safer before she learns to read English (and once she does, it could be controlled).
I am 13, and I work at the 'Applied Computing Division' at my School. I am the youngest one there and the look down on me as if I don't know anything, so last week I decided to prove to them I knew what I was on about and I attempted to crack the 'Virgin Super Hub's' filter system and it took me all of five minutes to do, most of these filter programmers are not tested before being sent out. The internet will never be perfect.
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