Obliging Responsibilities As A Blogger – Thanks For The Link!

Posted on February 3, 2009. Filed under: advice, Communication, Fame, Kaneva Inc. | Tags: , , , , , , |

kablogonk

Yesterday I noticed that this blog was actually linked to from the official Kaneva blog.  My first thought was… Wow, that’s pretty neat…. even though I bash on them a bit and use what might be considered “inappropriate language”, Kaneva, Inc. was able to look past this and see The Kanevian Blog as a great source of marketing… So, thank you Kaneva!

My next thought was, ok so now that I’ve actually become a source referenced by Kaneva maybe it’s time I become a more responsible (and smarter) blogger…. you know; doing things like making my posts a little more SEO friendly, moving the blog off of wordpress.com onto my own server, look into a site re-design, bust my ass to get more subscribers, and occasionally write about something that matters.

In this post, I decided to write about something that matters…. Child safety on the internet (or “internets” as I like to call it… hahaha, but seriously folks).  This is becoming a bigger and bigger topic on Kaneva and has always been a big topic since the internet become a household fixture for almost every family across the world.

The internet has many positives and great learning opportunities for children. However, there also the inherent danger of a communication channel that is very large and fast.

We’ve all seen the To Catch A Predator specials on Dateline NBC and know that the existence of child predators are all too real. Many of these internet dangers can be avoided and I would like to offer some tips to the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, however you are that may have a child that uses your computer.

All of the suggestions below are recommended to be used together, not individually. Any kind of security (home, business, computer) work best in layers.

Use an Internet Filter

Many companies offer an internet filter that can be used to allow only the websites you would like your child to view. These filters can also be setup to monitor keystrokes your child makes on the computer and keep an extensive history of internet browsing history on your pc.

Companies, such as bsafe online (who come highly recommended by several ‘family values’ personalities) even offer integrated anti-virus and specific report features.

Internet filters are a great tool, however, kids are getting smarter with computers and may eventually figure out how to get around the filters (there is always a way to get the cheese from the mousetrap without getting caught). This is why I recommend other tactics for keeping your child safe online such as –

Location, Location, Location

Keep your computer in a “high traffic” area of your house. These areas could be

  • The family room
  • The living room
  • The kitchen
  • An office that is in an open location

Although a computer in a child’s bedroom may be okay for playing games or doing homework, this computer should not be connected to the internet.

If you have a child that is surfing the net, you should be able to see their computer screen with a quick glance. If you can’t, then it may be time to move your computer to another location of the house.

Laying Down The Law

Write up a list of rules for computer use and keep a copy of it next to the computer. Make sure you have read the rules over with your child and that they fully understand them, and the consequences for braking the rules. Also, have them sign a copy of the agreement to reinforce the importance of it (a good example of this agreement can be found on CNN’s website here).

You also will want to know who your children’s on-line friends are. You want to know who they are hanging out with in real life, why would this be any different on the computer?

Google Their Name

Google is a great tool for finding all sorts of things on the internet, including information about your child. Since social networking sites like myspace and facebook rank highly on search engines, there is a good chance you may be able to see your child’s personal page. By searching for their name, you might also see what type of personal information they may have gave out (you would be surprised at how much information you can get about someone if you have only their phone number).

Go ahead and play private-eye for a bit, the time spent may well be worth it.

As a side note about personal information on the internet:

If a site is specifically child oriented it must meet Federal Trade Commission guidelines. Find out if the sites they visit comply and what rules are in place. Under law, if a child is under 13, Web sites have to get parental permission to get personal information.

Who To Contact If You Think Your Child Might Have Been or Is Being Victimized.

Keeping your child safe online is one of those parental responsibilities that is new and always evolving. If you have any good advice for keeping children safe online, please post it in the comments below.

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