Children under the age of 16 are regularly visiting websites that have been prohibited by their parents, divulge personal details to strangers, and meet up with people they met online, according to research published today. Online identity firm Garlik commissioned research among 500 children aged 8-15 and 500 parents across the …
Load of bollocks
Kids will always do things parents won't let them. When I was 11 or 12 there was no bigger thrill than thumbing through my dad's copies of Club International and Mayfair. Still, that was probably less risky than the shite kids get up to on the Internet. I'm not sure whether the Internet has anything useful to offer kids. Obviously there is no substitute for proper supervision of children but how many of us really do this? How real are the dangers anyway? Kids could actually be more at risk from playing out on the streets than from any imagined predator on the Internet.
Treat your childs network like an office network
I treat all my son's network connections the same way mine in the office are monitored.
All direct outbound connections are blocked, a web proxy (squid) is provided for HTTP traffic, all pages are logged, cached and post/get data is stored. Instant messengers are also allowed via the proxy but only when encryption is disabled.
I provide his email address through one of my domains, and I admin the mail server.
I don't manually monitor the list but have it scripted to send reports of commonly hit sites, and search for pattern matches for things that may be dubious - otherwise I give him free reign but with full knowledge of what I have set up.
True I'm sure one day he'll learn to hack around these restrictions within the home network, however if he is knowledgeable enough to beat me at security I figure he's old enough to make his own decisions
Load of bollocks?
Whilst I agree to some degree with the comments made by the first poster above, I can't agree that this is just a "Load of bollocks".
A lot of parents still need a wake-up call to make them realise that the Internet is not a child minding service and just because their kid is up in their room and being quiet it doesn't mean they can slob out in front of the TV and not consider themselves responsible taking care of their child.
Perhaps if more people took note of this fact we'd hear fewer hysterical demands for draconian laws to "censor the internet" by banning all access to some sites or making it illegal for adults to look at "dangerous pictures" on the off-chance that it might, allegedly, make someone do bad things.
Reg, please be more careful
When Garlik's so-called identity theft prevention scheme starts producing results that make the slightest bit of sense vis-á-vis the results, then I might take them a bit more seriously. However, as the system is only slightly better than entering your name into google and then scraping the first three pages of results, I will continue to get my advice from genuine security experts.
There's always a way
"I treat all my son's network connections the same way mine in the office are monitored."
So he surfs for porn at his mate's house, where you won't even catch him accidentally...
Sounds like a nice setup, Simon...
...Any chance you could throw together a quick how-to article describing how to set something like that up, preferably with a minimal cash outlay, for those concerned parents (myself included) whose grasp of things like squids can only be described as slippery?
I'm sure we could think of somewhere you could publish something as useful as that. And your kudos ratings would go through the roof...
How are they getting the data?
Are they getting the data mainly by interviewing these kids?
I would really hope not as I've got kids who are now on the high edge of this age group and I've notice they talk a good game...
Almost every boy I know of (its mainly a boy thing as far as I can tell) in the 10-13 age range knows at least one friend who has hacked into the FBI, and routinely engages in adult activities such as arranging to meet people
It may not all be exaggeration and they may well access the odd site I'd rather they didn't, but I fail to see what damage spotting a few boobies is really going to do - My eldest is already taller than me so a bit of growth stunting wouldn't go amiss anyway
I accept that there is a real risk on the internet but honestly the figures quoted seem exaggerated and don't fit any actual increase in abuse levels that I am aware of
Technology doesn't actually supervise
The problem with using a proxy (for 99% of home users they'd never have the knowledge to set one up anyway) is it can't take the place of proper supervision. It's all reactive long after the fact; the fact you aren't even checking the logs manually makes the whole operation pointless as you're relying on finding keywords. All reactive monitoring doesn't work and no one serious about web monitoring bothers with it any more. You really need something like Websense to stop the harm happening in the first place and any parent allowing instant messaging is just asking for trouble.
Missing the point
The post entitled 'Load of bollocks' labels itself perfectly.
Firstly, 'thumbing through' magazines, isn't and will not ever be the same as having the world wide web at your fingertips. The former would expose a youngster to new things, whilst this may also be true of the internet, the danger stems from the web surfer (whatever their age) being exposed to new people.
This people are real and whilst the risk may be minimal the predators are not 'imagined'.
The author suggests, 'Kids could actually be more at risk from playing out on the streets', whilst this may or may not be true seems to me irrelevent.
The article is about attempting to prevent rather than cure the problem. When kids play out on the streets their parents surely warn them of the dangers etc. Why should the same not be true of the internet!?
You will never be able to hold your child's hand everytime they cross the road, but the least you can do is teach them to press the button and wait for the lights to change.
Furthermore the potential threats to young internet surfers is not just from adults, but also their peers who they may be unwilliing to speak out against.
I therefore plead you take the anonymous 'load of bollocks' comment with the pinch of salt it deserves. Yet for any parents seeking more helpful/practical advice may I suggest you look towards the new site www.garlik.com
Re. treat it as an office network
Not everyone is a propellor head, stop showing off. Are you the dull guy I always end up with at parties telling me about the suction power of his vacuum cleaner? :-D
Here's your solution