Is Internet Safety – Safe?

I’ve had some huge wake up calls on Internet Safety. I’m kinda big into taking care of and protecting kids – even from themselves. I thought my kids and I could discuss our way through what we couldn’t filter. You have to understand, though, the fight for Internet safety for your kids IS NOT a fair fight. It’s Guerilla Warfare and curiosity doesn’t kill the cat fast enough. What parent wants their kids interacting with predators? I take it a step further, I don’t want my kids interacting with the world’s trash, even if it’s popular in culture or even if they want to.

It came together for me when I saw this post on Facebook & Twitter: 10 most dangerous apps for kids on Fox 59. This is a great piece. It behooves anyone with kids with devices / even school devices / to be very careful. So what’s a parent do with that info?

I’m a tech geek. We use technology in our home and I’ve provided wireless devices for my kids. Each student in our school has an iPad. At this point though, I’m wondering if they are really worth the headache. It is very difficult to effectively filter the Internet or to detect the decoy apps (apps that look like one thing but are something else). I’m finding that the school has some filters in place, but as far as monitoring, less than generally believed. I know that the most effective filter is to sit with your kids and watch their every activity online all the time – and who really can do that? The school doesn’t have the technological structure to send me a report of my kid’s activity on the school iPad (that’s really all I need, I can take it from there). I don’t even know that the architecture exists to do so. It hasn’t popped up on Google like most things do.

Speaking of Google, take their product – the well known YouTube for example – great resource of educational instruction and entertainment – great heap of stinky trash all mixed into one. I can block the web address, but can’t keep up with the multiple url addresses the YouTube App uses – and they are not readily available. Does YouTube have filters? Yes! But you must be signed into YouTube or Google for that part to work. You don’t have to be signed in to use the service.

I haven’t touched cellular Internet. We don’t have it for our kids for costs – and I don’t really know if there is anything to actually help parents who have it for their kids. Perhaps there is more available than I know of, but I thought that about web filtering at home and school.

I would like to hear more of what people think of this. I would like to team up with someone to help figure out a solution. A business case could be developed easily on this for most of us parents. If there is a solution short of building a commune, I’d like to hear about it. If not, is there anyone interested in helping me figure this out?

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