Q. “The media are always talking about pornography on the internet. I have never seen any of this stuff. Is it really as bad as they would have you believe”?
A. I had the dubious honour of attending a special web developers clinic put on the by city police in Calgary. To say it was an eye-opener would be a serious understatement. Please read carefully what I have to say on this subject and do everything you can to protect your family from what is just a click of the mouse away at any time. I truly cannot begin to describe the type of material that is just around the corner. Please believe me when I say that some of the so called “light porn” material we were exposed to was seriously sick. Protect your family please!
A. The short answer is YES it really is as bad or worse than they say it is. It is absolutely the dark side of the internet. If you have never stumbled across it by doing a simple Google search for something or opening a misguided email then consider yourself lucky. When someone asks for help because all of a sudden strange things are happening to their computer it is often because they (usually HE) was wandering around in the gutter. I always check the surfing history before I start trying to help and if I find gutter surfing, I simply wash my hands and walk away.
Q. “My kid wants a computer in his bedroom and I don’t think that’s healthy but he is being pretty persistent”. “All his friends have one“!
A. Who is running the show and have you spoken to these other parents? There is not much point in protecting your system if they can simply go over to “Johnny’s” place and surf the world. You need to get your kids friends parents on the same page or control your kids access to those kids.
Sorry but the family computer or computers as the case may be must be in a public space in the home. Kids private time on a computer is just not worth the risk. The sick predators hang out in chat rooms and now Facebook and twitter and lonely kids are ideal victims of these creeps. In my humble opinion they would be better off playing street hockey on the freeway than sitting in the corner of their bedroom chatting back and forth with some sicko. YES this kind of stuff goes on all around us and you are the only one with the power to stop it.
Q. “Is there any way to protect my family and my computer from accessing this kind of stuff”.
A. There are some settings right in the browser that allow you to block content but its pretty general and unless you are quite literate (geek certified) you may have a problem with the settings. On the other hand there is software available that kind of takes all the guesswork out of setting up the protection and it has other features like time allocation etc. One is called Net Nanny Click here and take a look. From what I hear its well worth the $$ for the peace of mind it provides.
A. Not really. I am sure you bought your kid a fancy “smart phone” cuz everybody has one. You need to have the “serious talk” and be a real parent. Pay attention. The stuff we used to see when we would sneak a peek at a Playboy magazine is Sunday school stuff compared to the sick stuff that is just a click away for any kid on the internet. Did I say “pay attention”. Did I say “talk to your kids”.
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Yes kids who sit hour after hour on the computer are lonely. Sure they need a computer to do a lot of the homework these days and perhaps type out their essays etc – but that should be the end of it. Engage them in activities away from the computer. Take a lesson in parenting 101 somewhere else this is not the forum. Just put a tight and very public limit on computer time.
JUST DO IT – AND DO IT NOW!
BEFORE ITS TOOOOO LATE