Dec 16th, 2008
The AutoComplete option in Windows Explorer can lead to automatic fraud. AutoComplete remembers login names, passwords and even credit card numbers. This leaves your computer vulnerable to a number of problems:
1- Other computer users besides you can access your bank accounts or email.
2- Other computer users besides you can use your credit card number, including your children, to order drugs, weapons, or anything else.
3- Windows Explorer currently has a security flaw that allows this information to be hacked using virus code that exists on tens of thousands of websites.
Turn AutoComplete off. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Content > AutoComplete to disable this feature. AutoComplete is a bad idea in any browser. If you have problems remembering your passwords, store them in a password protected location other than your browser.
Nov 20th, 2008
Are you children safe when they access the Internet at school or at a friend’s house? What can you do to protect them when they are beyond the safety of your home computer system?
You don’t need to feel helpless. There are step you can take, even if the computers your children are using are not yours.
1- Talk to the parents of your child’s friends to make sure they have taken safety precautions with their computers. If they need help, ask them to download the free book Online Teen Dangers from www.OnlineTeenDangers.com.
2- Talk to the computer administrator at your child’s school. Ask them if they have rules in place and if they monitor computer usage to be able to enforce those rules. If they need help, have them contact Computer Parenting and ask about their Enterprise software designed specifically for schools.
3- Avoid providing mobile Internet devices to your children such as cell phones with Internet access. You can ask your cell phone provider to block these services if their cell phone is Internet enabled.
4- Prevent your child from visiting public Internet locations such as libraries or cyber-cafes without your supervision.
Online safety doesn’t end at home. Be aware of other locations they can access the Internet.
Nov 13th, 2008
Children, especially teenagers, are notorious at posting information online about their parents. They don’t mean any harm, but these young online journalists are like having your own personal paparazzi. If you vent about your boss, or talk about sensitive subjects from work, your children could overhear and post this information online.
They are also quite adept at taking pictures of family activities and posting them online. Parents have been arrested when children have posted images of their inappropriate behavior such as serving beer to minors at family parties.
It is good to be aware of your children’s online activities not only to protect them from the dangers of the Internet, but to protect your own reputation.
Nov 2nd, 2008
Parents struggle (or should struggle) with the point at which they open up the Internet to their children. Internet filters are great at limiting access to “safe” web sites, but not so good at blocking all the bad web sites. Try to tell a 16 year old that the only web sites they can access are Disney, Nickelodeon and Barney. It seems like the point of “Internet coming of age” is getting younger and younger. I have a 6 year old nephew that can’t even read, but he knows how to find and download games from the Internet.
The key to granting Internet or any other type of independence to children is inspection. For example, when a business is making widgets, they don’t have the time or money to inspect every part that comes off the assembly line, they do periodic inspections.
Children respect what parents inspect. Check on your child’s Internet activities regularly. If everything is fine, the freedom can continue. If not, the freedom is restricted and the inspections happen more often until behavior improves.
Aug 26th, 2008
The days of blind dating are over. A few days ago, my daughter set up a blind date for two of her friends. Before the date the guy went on Facebook and checked out the girl. After reading her profile, he decided to cancel the date without giving her a chance.
How many happy couples are there that met on blind dates? How many won’t there be because of social networking? Facebook is changing the destiny of the world.
Aug 15th, 2008
Every generation has its gap. Rock-n-roll, the hippie movement, disco, heavy metal. The new millennium brought with it a generation gap so wide that all others pale in comparison. The eGap.
Parents are completely unaware of the second lives their teenagers are living online. They upload indecent pictures of themselves; buy alcohol and drugs; affiliate themselves with groups that promote hatred, self mutilation, anorexia, suicide, violence, prostitution and crime; openly discuss topics such as rape, torture, unwed pregnancy and terrorism with other teens; become addicted to pornography and online sex-for-sale in all its forms; and not only become victims of the evils of the Internet, but become perpetrators themselves.
As parents we may try to narrow the gap, but it is difficult. Perhaps our kids know much more than we do about computers. They are creative about disabling parental control software and browser histories. They find times to be on the computer when we are not around, even if the computer is in a public place in the home. Most parents are ignorant of the eGap and powerless to change it.
Knowledge is power. Imagine if you had telescopic, X-ray vision that would allow you to see across the eGap and into your kids computers. If at least you knew what was going on, you could do something about it. Add the parental superpower of being able to take control of your kids computer, even when you are not home. And even more, extrasensory perception to know immediately when your kids are breaking the computer guidelines you created together.
Computer Parenting is the teenagerproof, remote monitoring and control solution for parents that will make you a superhero so you can rescue your kids no matter where you are and no matter how wide the eGap is in your home.
Jul 31st, 2008
Sex is like chocolate. Chocolate is actually good for you. In its pure, organic form, it is full of flavonoids and other antioxidants that do wonders for your body. When chocolate gets commercialized, it gets mixed up with sugar, hydrogenated oils and other substances that are bad for your body. In its commercial form, it becomes addictive and leads to disease.
Intimate relationships within a loving marriage, can bring closeness and strengthen the love between a husband and wife. When sex gets commercialized, people turn into objects to satisfy selfish desires. Pornography is a perfect example of commercialized sex. It becomes addictive and can lead to activities that end in sexually transmitted diseases and broken homes.
Imagine if three clicks of mouse would cause a chocolate bar to immediately pop out of your computer for free. Do you think obesity in the world would become more widespread? This is a harsh reality with pornography.
The only way to fight it is the same way you fight any addiction: support and accountability. By installing a comprehensive computer monitoring solution like Computer Parenting that allows each spouse to monitor the other anytime, any place, cyber secrecy is removed from the home and each becomes immediately accountable for their actions. Children are also protected from the grips of a terrible addiction that will warp their perspective on intimacy for the rest of their lives.
Jul 4th, 2008
Here is a great article by Tricia Goss of GoodNewsTucson.com entitled Is Myspace Goodspace? She interviews experts (including yours truly) on how parents can deal with social networking sites like Myspace.
Jun 25th, 2008
Studies have shown that most of the time when children have problems with sexual predators online, the child is actually looking for a inappropriate relationship. This does not excuse the predator, since kids do not have the maturity to make decisions like an adult.
Parents should be vigilant so they catch their kids looking for trouble before the predators find them. Teach your kids about the dangers of looking for a stranger online to have a relationship with. Take the time to read their posts on social networking sites. Install monitoring software like Computer Parenting so you have x-ray vision into the second life they live online.
Jun 16th, 2008
What Internet traditions are we creating for our posterity? Yesterday morning my daughter made me breakfast for Father’s Day. This is a tradition that has been with our family for generations.
Traditions are powerful. I have witnessed firsthand in the Middle East how traditions can fuel hatred between groups of people for thousands of years. Studies have shown that child abuse tends to be passed on from generation to generation.
As first generation Internet parents, how we handle the Internet in our homes will not only affect our kids, but also our grandkids and generations to come. Hopefully our kids will teach our grandkids about the dangers of the Internet, set up rules to keep them safe, get involved so they are aware of what our grandkids are doing online and install computer monitoring software like Computer Parenting to follow up on their cyber activities.