How to protect your children online

Step one is to know what the dangers are, and sensational TV shows turn out to be a bad guide.

A large government-industry-academic team has released a report on dangers to minors online and especially at social networking sites.

You can figure out just about all their conclusions in advance by just thinking about the fact that social networking sites have people on them who do people-type things.

With that thought in mind, you won’t be surprised by

Bullying and harassment, most often by peers, are the most frequent threats that minors face, both online and offline.

or by

Social network sites are not the most common space for solicitation and unwanted exposure to problematic content, but are frequently used in peer-to-peer harassment, most likely
because they are broadly adopted by minors and are used primarily to reinforce pre-existing social relations.

or by

Minors are not equally at risk online. Those who are most at risk often engage in risky behaviors and have difficulties in other parts of their lives. The psychosocial makeup of
and family dynamics surrounding particular minors are better predictors of risk than the use of specific media or technologies.

One member of the task force maintains a database of sex offenders, and even he said “This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet …Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.”.

So teach your children to take the same precautions they would in the offline world.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The Security Mentor authored by Frederick. Read the original post at: