Thursday, April 29, 2010
This is not my writing... Copied from Bless Their Hearts MomThis is very important!
Darling daughter hasn't started school yet, but we've already had 2 parent meetings! I wasn't sure if I would really learn anything at the first one, but having been thru I can roundly say EVERY parent at daughter's school should have to attend the Technology Awareness Meeting! I'm going to condense the lecture that the District IT Director gave us, and give you highlights to think about, because I think they're SUPER important. So PLEASE read this whole post and free free to pass it on to your friends and family!
We all want to protect our kids.
We all think we're pretty technology savvy- after all you got on the internet, found my site, signed up via reader or subscription, have entered contests, joined Twitter and even Tweeted. You may have a program on your computer to keep your child from restricted internet sites, you limit what your kids can watch on TV (thank you parental controls) and you've given your kids a cell phone so they can call you if there's an emergency.
You feel technologically sound and good right?
How about if I tell you that you made the BIGGEST mistake of all and you didn't even realize it????
WHAT you ask?
What type of internet filter program do you have on that cell phone you gave your child? That's right, most cell phones these days access the internet thru a program on the cell phone. Guess what? NO FILTERS. That's right, you can protect your kids from porn and how to build a pipe bomb on the internet, but all they have to do is go in the backyard, pull out their cell phone and waala. They have the instructions and are looking at images you would blush out.
Stunned? There's more. Does your child have a thumb drive that can go into their pocket/on their key ring? Guess what? Little Johnny can download a FILTER FREE internet browser from the friend's computer, put it on the thumb drive and put in on their computer at any time. Because it's running off the thumb driver, your computer's filter program WON"T STOP IT.
Saying oh oh yet? Wait- how many of your kids computers have integrated webcams and mics? How many laptops with them are left on the desk and on all the time? Did you know a hacker, or even someone your child trusts, could upload a hacked file onto your child's computer in mere SECONDS from a thumb drive and go back to their house and remotely control the laptop camera and mic and take PICTURES of you teenage daughter in her room?
Oh one last thing- did you know that if Facebook was a country it would be the THIRD largest in the world, behind China and India? AND it's growing daily? Out of that LARGE country, how many perverts so you think are out there? How many do you think poss as young kids? Now think about the photos you upload to your Facebook page for grandma to see across the country. Are they in a closed group so only certain people can see them, or can those perverts in that LARGE country find them and stalk/kidnap your child? (oh and Facebook is announcing today that they will be releasing MORE private info as they change their system around- not good for kids!)
ok- take a minute, breathe and get something to drink (water, stiff drink, whatever)-then come back.
Understand that technology is NOT bad, it is HOW it is USED that is BAD. And kids are kids- they will do stupid foolish things JUST BECAUSE.
With the rash on cyber bullying you have to stop and think. If your child takes a picture of another child with their camera phone and uploads it to the internet on their phone and spreads evil rumors that are false, in an attempt to harm the other child, they are GUILTY or terrorism and harassment, not to mention bullying, in MOST states. Does a 2nd grader REALLY need a cell phone with a camera AND the internet? Police are arresting kids as young as 4th and 5th grade for blackmailing/terrorizing their classmates for SEX via the use of cell phones and computers. YES REALLY. It's not just teens anymore folks.
You trust your child, but can you trust everyone they know? You need to learn what is out there, so you CAN protect your kids and teach them about consequences of simple technological actions. Once illicit pictures of your teen are out on the web, they can't be brought back. The pictures will HAUNT them for a very long time- future employers and dates will Google them and come up with the photos. Will they get the job they want, most likely NO. Get to date the nice guy? Probably not if he's seen a questionable photo!
It's a scary world out there and it's getting worse. Think about some of the things I've mentioned and talk to your kids about them, and maybe you need to make some changes....I hope this has given you some foro for thought............Oh and cover those camera and mics when NOT in use!