Social Engineering

Valuable criteria to protect our children when they are on the Internet.


Place Computers in an open public area - an area that parents walk by on a random and frequent basis.  Do not place computers in bedrooms.

Communicate!!!  Talk to your family members.  Discuss the Internet - advantages and disadvantages.

Discuss strategies of Social Engineering with your family.  If you don't know what Social Engineering is - become informed.

Parents - Educate yourself! 

  • Take some computer classes,
  • Go to workshops that teach you about fundamentals without creating hysteria,
  • Stop being an 'I can't do this' person and become an 'I can do this' person. 

There is no magic - kids are still kids, whether it entails living in a city or the country, whether they are computer geeks or athletes.  It does not matter that your family is athletic or non-athletically inclined,  life as a teenager still entails bullies, predators, gangs/cliques, popular kids, geeks, and more.  This applies to the electronic realm as well.

Do not let computer hype or the fact that it is an electronic device intimidate you. Think of computers and the Internet as parallels to other events you experienced as kids. Technology advanced when you were children and you survived [Microwaves, Televisions, Dishwashers, typewriters, automobiles, record albums, cassettes, CDs, VHS, DVDs, etc].  The Internet [Instant messaging, gaming, email, text messaging, etc] is similar to the time you spent on the telephone as a teen, playing on playgrounds, social events, games and other activities that took place during your childhood.

Be aware of addictive behaviour - are family members spending more time on the computers than they are participating in family events?  Have they become irritable?  Anti-social?   Do they prefer playing on the computer rather than joining the family?  Addiction of any kind is not healthy.  Make sure the family as a whole gets fresh air, exercise, participates in family social events and changes in rote patterns.

Make sure your computer has proper protection and make sure that your family practices safe Internet and Internet etiquette.

Trust goes both ways.  Be open with your family members.  Communicate and educate.  Don't install spyware/net nanny software on your computers as most family members can access, within minutes, hacks that disable spyware and leave no trace of the disabling.  If they people think you are 'spying' on them, they will lose respect and trust in you.  It may also propel them into more extreme antics or make them all that much more vulnerable.   Instead, sit down and talk about situations.  Be open to family members approaching you on all topics, even potentially hot topics.  Praise the honesty and forthrightness, don't punish it.

There is a fine line between being a responsible parent that is aware of changes in their family and being a snoop that invades healthy privacy.   Don't use Internet predators as an excuse to snoop through private communications.  Journals and chat logs are just like the diaries and telephone conversations you had as a teenager.

Learn about and discuss strangers on the Internet and relate them to overly friendly strangers on a playground.   The electronic method of communication does not necessarily make us safer.  We are easily tracked than we think and what we might deem trivial information, is not trivial when multiple incidences of trivial data is gathered, stored and analyzed.



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Last Update: 10/21/2005 11:24:29 AM