Last Updated: 2009-05-29 20:39:36 UTC
by Lorna Hutcheson (Version: 1)
School is over or about to be over for many kids. With that comes many families whose parents work and kids will be left at home to relax and enjoy their summer vacation. This means alot of free time and an internet out there just waiting to be explored. Everyone is aware of the need to keep your kids safe while on the internet. But in some cases, there is a need to keep the internet and others safe from your kids. Let me explain that last comment. Kids with too much time on their hands get into trouble. You hear about it all the time on the news with kids getting into trouble with things such as vandalism, stealing,etc. What about kids getting into trouble on the internet?
Do a google search on the phrase "teenage hacker" and see what comes up. Kids are curious and learn fast. The internet can become a playground for them to explore and test out cool new programs and tools they find on the internet or write themselves. Chat rooms are available where kids can learn many things from others and want to try them for themselves. They can also get pulled into the "wrong crowd" on the internet and get in way over their heads fast. They may not even see anything wrong with it, its just computers after all.
Most of the filtering technology today focuses on web traffic. What are your kids looking at on the web. That is a good thing, but there are many other ports and protocols available and nothing watching them. Would you know if your child was running a botnet? Stealing credit card numbers? Hacking into websites? Its not a game and there are real consequences to it, even sometimes when the intent may have been to do good. Here are some recent examples:
"Nineteen-year-old Dmitriy Guzner from New Jersey was part of an underground hacking group named 'Anonymous' that targeted the church with several attacks. He could face ten years in prison on computer hacking charges and is due to be sentenced on August 24." http://www.securecomputing.net.au/News/144850,teenage-hacker-pleads-guilty-to-church-of-scientology-cyber-attacks.aspx
"Twitter has announced a review into four worm attacks on the site as a teenage hacker admits he could be jailed for his role in the stunt." http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Technology/Twitter-Worm-Attack-Biz-Stone-Announces-Review-As-Teenage-Hacker-Michael-Mooney-Speaks-Out/Article/200904215261579
"A teenage hacker whose campaign to expose holes in Internet security sparked an FBI investigation was being sentenced in court today." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/teenage-hacker-to-be-sentenced-for-internet-crusade-676871.html
As parents, we need to also talk to our kids about the other dangers that are on the internet. Dangers such as hacking, virus making, botnet creation, stealing, etc. You may think your child is doing nothing but sitting on a computer playing. But keep in mind that a computer on the internet is a portal to a whole 'nother world.