Kids On The Web

I’ve made a few posts recently about children and the stupidity of parents these days. If you didn’t read them (shame on you) you can find them here and here. To save you some time though, they’re basically a commentary on parents too busy with their own lives to pay any attention to their kids, and those kids doing something they shouldn’t have been doing thanks to a lack of supervision.

As usual, when you notice a problem you soon find other similar ones like the situation described in this news report. It seems that parents don’t actually know what their kids are getting up to online, and that many of these kids are members of social networks like this one. In some cases that’s a good thing. After all, being part of a close knit group of people and chatting about things that mean something to us is way better for kids than going out and getting drunk, and may educate them about the world. But the internet is still a dangerous place for kids, especially those teens that feel invincible and start putting photos of themselves up as well as their locations and other personal facts. It wouldn’t take long for someone online to build a profile of someone else from the little tidbits of information picked up here and there. A school name, a photo and the place they work a weekend job could easily help pinpoint exactly where a child lives and put them at risk.

Consider the following:-
While working as an admin on another site I was asked by one of my friends why I gave her daughter a warning simply for mentioning her school by name. I responded by telling her the name of her school, what newsagents she delivers papers for on a Saturday morning, her full name, her age, the street they live on, the town they live in and which supermarket the family regularly shops at. All of this was information I’d seen in the public chat window when I’d entered the room (I’d been called by someone in the room who was responsible and didn’t want her giving so much information away). In the wrong hands all of that information could have put her in a lot of danger – danger that she didn’t anticipate because it’s just online. Not like someone’s gonna track her down eh?

It does sound like an extreme possibility, but would any parent want to take the risk? You wouldn’t let your children give out personal information to a stranger in the street, so why would you let them to a stranger online? What proof do you have that the ten year old girl your daughter seems to be talking to isn’t really a sexual predator? None whatsoever is the answer. You may think these things are rare, but we live in a sick world – on one side of the globe a mother is arrested in connection to her own daughter’s kidnap while elsewhere police are searching for a man who forced young children to fight viciously for a Youtube video, and no parent should take that risk.

I know there’s quite a few parents out there that want to be responsible and stop a nightmare situation like that but don’t know the first place to start. For those people I’ll recommend following the link to Childnet’s safety tips for parents. It’s aimed at parents of children who spend time online. It’s a good selection of tips and rules, and even recognises the fact that mobile phones can surf the web with some tips for that event. You’ll also find links to other places that may help you.


29 thoughts on “Kids On The Web

  1. Not enough people realise the danger.. Or even think it wouldn't ever happen to them.. A kick in the head when they find how wrong they can be..I'll check the links later..

  2. I agree. Kids are easily misled by people on the web. I've seen it too much, and it's a subject that needs serious consideration.

  3. Good post Mik. Dateline here has had a few shows about sexual preditors talking to what they think are kids online and the adult goes to meet what they think is a kid they have been talking too. They get arrested after the interview.

  4. Good tips and tricks link :up:As I have mentioned earlier, internet is a dangerous jungle – so it is better be safe than sorry.

  5. Nat, the mother on the post, was an old time social site user who actually helped me get used to life online. Some of the things I've explained to people here were explained to me by her. She talked me through the first time I witnessed a friend's death announcement online. As usual it was a hoax by a twat.If someone like that doesn't realise the dangers to her child then it's probable that most people don't. If I can draw even one person's attention to this that isn't aware of the dangers then it's a worthwhile post, more than the rest of my page can be.

  6. Carol – that was my job as a mod elsewhere, except I would ban their accounts on the site and hand over details to the site owners.

  7. It's cause people always like to think that their kids are saints and not stupid at all. It's like when a school bans a kid from using the web for being on social sites the parents leap to defend their kids, instead of asking why that's so bad and what their child was doing that got them banned. So they think the child is being victimised by teachers, instead of hearing that they were setting up a meet.

  8. Great post, Mik. I sometimes feel I outed myself too much by having my picture public and mentioning the city I live in… Even that could be enough for a child – for instance if there's only one school where they live.:sst: I though peta was something edible :p

  9. peta does sound edible, actually its one letter away from the bread pita (I don't even know if that made sense, I am so sleepy). But if I remember correctly nambla is the north american man boy love association and these freaks really believe that pedophillia should be legal and that it should be there right to partake in such affairs. I hate those bastards, I really do.

  10. Oh, I see now how that came out. I meant that it might be enough for a child to say the name of the town they live in for some psycho to find out more about them.I'm old enough :D.

  11. Okay, in america I'm sure you can be arrested for inciting terrorism. And as far as I'm concerned, paedos are much worse so the same law should apply. That's bloody disgusting.

  12. In america they arrest who they want to, they even protect these types of monsters. The government really doesn't care for the well being of its kids. But when you think about it why should they care about paedophiles when they're doing the same to our youth. Do they have this group in europe?

  13. According to Wikipedia, you barely have it there anymore – they're just a PO Box now.We don't have it here, but I'm sure there are similar ones lurking. If you read about Marc Dutroux or the recent discoveries in Jersey, there's some institutional coverings-up there.

  14. Tilla – :love:Chaosdragon – Ayup – pita/peta was my lame attempt on a pun :faint:That nambla thing makes me sick. I've never heard of it before, but it seems they find huge paedo-rings in Europe (/the world) at least once a year now.

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