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Thread: Internet Safety

  1. #1
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    Default Internet Safety

    As my kids are getting older, I'm looking into different kinds of parental controls for the internet. I'd love to hear people's suggestions for programs you use, how they work, and what you like and don't like about them for different ages.

    Also, I was wondering what others' did with respect to internet safety, parental controls and privacy with younger and older kids. What is enough or too much? Is it best just to block certain searches and websites or do you go further? Do your children have their own e-mails and if so, do you know the password and do you ever read their e-mails? (I would never read DD's diary, but I have checked her e-mail in the past because of course her diary is just her own private thoughts, but her e-mail includes communication with others). I'm happy I did because it turned out she had signed up for a talent agency and acting audition although she knew she shouldn't be giving out her name or any other information; she was about 9 years old at the time). She uses gmail and I have the password.

    (DD has a younger friend who doesn't live in London anymore but visits her grandparents here regularly. This friend is not supervised well at all and knows too much for her age (she just turned 10) and uses the internet without any supervision. She was just in London this past weekend and I think she taught DD how to delete the internet browsing history, because I went to check it and the folder for last week is completely empty. I haven't talked to DD about it yet but I will. This is what prompted the question about internet safety and privacy).


    Any other internet safety tips would be good too!
    Last edited by mom 2 two :); 02-27-2012 at 02:44 AM.



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    We are not yet at this point as our kids are too young to do things on their own yet.

    I agree with knowing kids passwords and reading their email.
    I also feel the computer needs to be in a high traffic area- so that they don't have a too private of time on it.

    I know of a family where the 12 yr old has full net acess and often spends all day on it and is in the basement alone on the pc. This is something I would not allow.
    Love isn't love till you give it away.



  3. #3
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    We're not at this point yet but I can tell you what my Mom did when I was a kid. We had a certain amount of time we were allowed to be on the internet, after our time was up the computer locked.

    A friend of my husband's just posted on Facebook that her 10 year old bought $1200 worth of apps from Apple and then deleted the message from his inbox so she wouldn't know. Crap like that worries me for when my kids get older. I can only imagine the technology I'll have to deal with then. Afterall, we're only three years away from hoverboards according to Back to the Future II.

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    I dont do parental controls for a few reasons the main being many contain spyware and viruses that I dont want and the other being most kids can get around them.

    what I have done is D uses MY email to sign up for things and then I approve or deny it and that gives me the password.

    she has fb that she does NOT have the password to, if she wants on she types in the email and its set to auto sign in and I have it set that everything also goes to email. As for friends on FB right now she only has no one her own age becasue I deleted the one kid who kept calling her degrading names due to her special needs but she also knows that any and all adult on there will call her out for bad behavior and then tell me so there is no hiding lol. I taught her about fb stupidity by showing her her brothers page where he posts videos of himself smoking pot and acting like a fool ( he has never lived with me )

    as for safety she is very street and net smart. Because she sees that I use the pc for the majority of my socializing I used it to show her safe versus unsafe behavior including the fact I used this website to show her how easy it would be to find someone from the info people post here if they wanted. She knows you can make awesome friends on the net but that it takes some common sense and using your judgment and if in doubt the answer is always no.

    In my home unless you pay bills there is no right to privacy, I will read diarys and emails and honestly the whole a diary is a child's private thoughts is nothing to mean you never know what they are writing about, when I was 9-12 I know what I was writing about had an adult read my diary maybe I would have gotten help i needed. Thats not saying I make a point of checking every day but if my child is not acting right or something seems off and she doesn't wanna talk damn straight Ill dig for the info.

    That said Im very lucky that my girl follows the rules and I have been told by various teachers that she is smarter than some adults when it comes to Internet safety.

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    I dont do parental controls for a few reasons the main being many contain spyware and viruses that I dont want and the other being most kids can get around them.

    what I have done is D uses MY email to sign up for things and then I approve or deny it and that gives me the password.

    she has fb that she does NOT have the password to, if she wants on she types in the email and its set to auto sign in and I have it set that everything also goes to email. As for friends on FB right now she only has no one her own age becasue I deleted the one kid who kept calling her degrading names due to her special needs but she also knows that any and all adult on there will call her out for bad behavior and then tell me so there is no hiding lol. I taught her about fb stupidity by showing her her brothers page where he posts videos of himself smoking pot and acting like a fool ( he has never lived with me )

    as for safety she is very street and net smart. Because she sees that I use the pc for the majority of my socializing I used it to show her safe versus unsafe behavior including the fact I used this website to show her how easy it would be to find someone from the info people post here if they wanted. She knows you can make awesome friends on the net but that it takes some common sense and using your judgment and if in doubt the answer is always no.

    In my home unless you pay bills there is no right to privacy, I will read diarys and emails and honestly the whole a diary is a child's private thoughts is nothing to mean you never know what they are writing about, when I was 9-12 I know what I was writing about had an adult read my diary maybe I would have gotten help i needed. Thats not saying I make a point of checking every day but if my child is not acting right or something seems off and she doesn't wanna talk damn straight Ill dig for the info.

    That said Im very lucky that my girl follows the rules and I have been told by various teachers that she is smarter than some adults when it comes to Internet safety.

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    DD are 9 and almost 4. Both have their own touchpads and the oldest has her own laptop. DD1 also will be getting her own blog soon, when I get around to setting one up for her. She has her own email address as well.

    We are a no parental controls family here too. We've taught our kids to browse safely. They are only allowed to talk to people via approved channels (email, select websites). Having them know better is (IMO) more effective than blocking them and having them seek ways to hide their behaviour.

    However, they are aware that we can track where they have gone online. DH does computer crime investigation for a living, so if he had concerns he would be able to install appropriate software. We've not yet had any concerns yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Beard View Post
    We are a no parental controls family here too. We've taught our kids to browse safely. They are only allowed to talk to people via approved channels (email, select websites). Having them know better is (IMO) more effective than blocking them and having them seek ways to hide their behaviour.
    I agree with Cat Beard. I haven't put any controls on our computer either - mainly because it blocked legitimate searches IME and makes it difficult for school work requiring the Internet.
    That said, I do monitor what they are doing, check out where they have been and generally pay attention (move in and out of the room regularly) to what's going on.

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    Thanks for the replies. Here are my thoughts...

    I just don't feel comfortable letting my children do and encounter anything they want on the compuer. I have only one computer in our house out in the open, but my DD is 11 in a couple of weeks and stays home alone sometimes for short periods of time during the day. Or, if I'm busy making supper or something, for example, I'm not going to walk by and check on the kids every couple of minutes, or 30 times in an hour. I've been on the computer writing an e-mail I didn't want the kids to see (most recently about DD's birthday gift), and when they walk up it's been very easy to minimize it so they don't see what I'm doing. It would be just as easy for them (at least the older one, DD) to do the same when I walk up.

    DD could easily be innocently curious and type in “sex“ on the computer for example and could come across all sorts of very graphic videos and images which are extremely degrading to women. Or, all sorts of other things she's not old enough to see and/or wouldn't understand.

    Also, just because kids know what they should do, they don't always do exactly what they should. I know I lied to my parents plenty of times when I was young! And although I have good kids, they won't always be perfect angels. I'll trust DD with most things (ex: when she says she's done her homework) that aren't dangerous, but the internet can be. Although I can usually trust her, it's difficult to take her word for it with something potentially serious.

    Parents might feel better when they can check to see where on the internet their kids have been, but one of my points was that kids can easily delete browsing history, so it might be a false sense of security seeing that they've just been playing an online game or doing homework or something, not knowing they've deleted part of the history. (That's why I was wondering about programs that can track browsing history without the child being able to see/erase that. I would feel much better if I could at least do that. Now, checking browsing history means absolutely nothing if DD knows how to erase parts of it).

    Also, even if kids have a certain e-mail or social media account, they can make up another one easily so even if we think we have their password(s), how do we know? (Ex: they could have a Hotmail account we don't even know about).

    It just seems like parenting a tween/teen with all the technology is so much more complicated than it was in the past!



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    my D is 11 so Im gonna respond bit by bit

    I just don't feel comfortable letting my children do and encounter anything they want on the compuer
    my D doesn't get to just do as she please when she goes on the pc, not at all. if she is allowed on the pc she has to first tell me what she wants to do. if she chooses to switch she has to inform me.

    all her sites are book marked


    but my DD is 11 in a couple of weeks and stays home alone sometimes for short periods of time during the day.
    computer is locked when I am not home simple as that

    DD could easily be innocently curious and type in “sex“ on the computer for example
    if she is that curious she will do it at home or school or a friends place.

    , and when they walk up it's been very easy to minimize it so they don't see what I'm doing. It would be just as easy for them (at least the older one, DD) to do the same when I walk up.
    In my home thats not allowed, my pc my rules, if I come check what she is doing and she minimizes the screen she looses the pc untill I decide to be nice again.

    and yes she could make accounts elsewhere that can happen weather or not I use parental controls what I do is if I put them on I am more or less saying to her that I dont trust you.

    Also, even if kids have a certain e-mail or social media account, they can make up another one easily so even if we think we have their password(s), how do we know? (Ex: they could have a Hotmail account we don't even know about).
    thats the thing we wont know, Im by no means my kids best friend but Im not her enemy either and though I know I sound strict and mean (as per no rights to privacy) my kid also talks to me about everything and anything sometimes she tells me more than I wanna know too lol

    I know people say what about homework, well for me there are 2 things there 1) im lucky my kid doesn't get homework but also 2) if I ever had a teacher tell me that I HAD to let her use a pc to look stuff up I would reply with supply the pc then as pc use does not fall under my legal requirements as a parent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingpretty View Post
    I know people say what about homework, well for me there are 2 things there 1) im lucky my kid doesn't get homework but also 2) if I ever had a teacher tell me that I HAD to let her use a pc to look stuff up I would reply with supply the pc then as pc use does not fall under my legal requirements as a parent.
    I will only comment on this - all three of my boys (grades 8, 5 and 3) have homework they require a computer for (with internet access) on a weekly basis.
    When our computer was in for repair my oldest told the teacher he didn't have a computer at home right now - he was told that every library in London has computers with internet access - so getting his homework done shouldn't be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gogomom View Post
    I will only comment on this - all three of my boys (grades 8, 5 and 3) have homework they require a computer for (with internet access) on a weekly basis.
    When our computer was in for repair my oldest told the teacher he didn't have a computer at home right now - he was told that every library in London has computers with internet access - so getting his homework done shouldn't be a problem.
    nope sorry, schools can NOT demand you allow your kids on the net if you don't allow it.

    I have spoken with my childs school about this as the pc is main form of punishment as well if she is manicy or off I have to keep her off or she will fixate I was told very clearly that no they can not make me let her use my pc or even take her to a library to use one that if so needed they can let her use thiers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingpretty View Post
    nope sorry, schools can NOT demand you allow your kids on the net if you don't allow it.
    I'm not sure what would happen if I was just to say “sorry, my child isn't allowed on the computer / internet“. The teachers send home e-mails, I get updated via the internet about what is happening in the class and I get all the permission forms, extra-curricular forms from the school online.

    Kids don't need parental permission to use the computers at the library - all the students are able to walk to our local library so I can kinda see the teachers point for the grade 8 students.

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    In my family it was more like.. setting boundaries..
    The computer was 'locked' so we weren't allowed on it without someone unlocking it (As in there was a password on the log-in screen). But neither myself or my brother had any interest in searching for porn or something.. we'd play games.. I've had my own email address since 13 and my Moms never known the passwords or read my conversations with people. But she talked to us about internet safety a lot.

    I plan to raise DS the same way - informed.
    I probably won't block out the dirty channels on the TV either.. it's not like he could rent the channels without permission and the password anyways.
    Last edited by IsisBaily; 02-27-2012 at 03:19 PM.


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