Place Computers in an open public area -
an area that parents walk by on a random and
frequent basis. Do not place computers in
Communicate!!! Talk to your family
members. Discuss the Internet - advantages
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
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
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.