Archive for the News Category

Facebook and Children: Cyber-expert Says No to Kids Under 13 for Family Safety

Posted on May 26, 2012 with 2 Comments

Online family safety is a hot topic right now, especially with Facebook and children. Parents who allow children younger than 13 to use facebook are exposing their children to serious dangers of the internet and are 'living in La La Land' says ex-cop.

A former Victoria Police officer turned cyber-safety consultant says parents who let their children go on facebook before they are teenagers and compromising family safety and 'not doing a good enough job as a parent'.

Cyber safety expert Susan McLean advised Harlaxton State School in Queensland, who are threatening to expel students who join facebook or refuse to delete their accounts.  With very few parents and school officials who know how to monitor Facebook, there are real issues surrounding Cyber bullying, privacy, how to be safe online and the lack of regulation for those under 13 using the social network.

No Child Unprotected1NN Facebook and Children: Cyber expert Says No to Kids Under 13 for Family Safety"I think the issue is not about the fact that the principal may or may not be reviewing a child's enrollment," says Susan Mclean."The issue is that there are young people using facebook against the Terms and Conditions of Use," she says.

Susan compares Facebook and children under age 13 to those children under age 15 see innapropriately rated films. "There's rules there for very good reasons and I think we are doing children a disservice if we pick and choose what rules we think kids should obey," says Susan Mclean. She believes it's immaterial if people disagree with the rule.

"You are signing up to facebook," she says, "When you sign up you say I accept, I accept, I agree, I agree, I agree." She says if you allow your child on facebook you are putting your child at risk for internet dangers.

"I don't care whether you reckon you supervise or not you don't have any idea about what goes on on facebook," she says."You're not living in the real world, you're in La La Land".

Facebook has picked an age for a reason and they do acknowledge that there are dangers on the internet and there are online predators.  Unfortunately many people have no idea about how predatory some people are online.

"No-one can pick a paedophile, it doesn't matter who you are, and these people are extremely clever," says Susan. Why any parent would want to put a child in a place of risk anytime before they need to be there completely goes against basic rules of online family safety.

Susan said that parents should not be fear-mongering… "it's being realistic and understanding the nature of the internet. I think the internet's fabulous and I don't think we should demonise facebook or social media."  

"When it's not fabulous is when young children are doing the wrong thing online."

View Original Source Article: http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2012/05/17/3505219.htm

Should Parents Discourage Children from Social Networks? What it Means for Kids Internet Safety

Posted on April 27, 2012 with No Comments

 

Social media has changed the way the world works in many ways. For some, the change has been positive, for others detrimental. One thing that parents must consider is the kids internet safety and how they are participating in social networks. 

It is also important to look to the future of social networks and the online space as a good thing. But too often it causes worry and fear for parents, and rightfully so.  Kids Internet Safety is at risk, and parents are the only ones who hold the reigns.  This is why it is crucial to establish some degree of parental control on social networks.  Parents have a duty to keep children safe, and should feel good about the activities their children participate in. 

Kids Internet Safety Should Parents Discourage Children from Social Networks? What it Means for Kids Internet Safety

Here are a few reasons to feel good about your kids using social media:

Education and Awareness.  These are key ingredients in preparing children for the future.  In order to understand how the world works, it is important for children of today to learn as much as possible about technology and be directly involved in social communities that are literally changing the way the world works.  Kids who have access to social media stand a better chance to be more innovative and technologically savvy, and up on trends that will give them power in the marketplace over their uneducated peers. Think about how many parents are lacking the tools and information to take advantage of positive opportunities that exist through social networks.  Less skills mean less value and parents need to understand that getting up to speed with technology is crucial to our kids’ future.

Healthy Advantages – If parents are able to steer children in the direction of age-appropriate  youth-centered networks and groups, there are some benefits that can work toward a healthy advantage. These include:

Importance of Digital literacy.  When children use social networks, this enables them to learn how to upload images and videos to a web site, to conduct research, gain new perspectives outside a small community and learn how to interact among different mediums – through writing, video, etc.  Becoming digitally literate also offers a learning curve for children in how to identify and handle cyber bullying, and how not to be a bully.

Necessary Social skills. Developing healthy social skills is crucial to a child’s upbringing.  Online interactions are not the same or even close to face-to-face, but learning to communicate across different mediums is important for understanding the different ways to be social, and how these translate across the online space as well as in person.  In order for children to develop into effective adults, it is imperative that they develop age-appropriate skills and social networks can work well to serve this purpose.

Acceptance and Validation.  Encourage a child with recognition and they gain confidence in their ability to contribute to a community.  Social media participation provides this opportunity and offers children a chance to interact with other kids who share similar interests. For a child who feels alone or doesn’t quite fit in with the locals, this online space can be a positive environment where they find common ground.

But What about the increased concern over Privacy and Online Dangers, does the good outweigh the bad of allowing your children to join social networks?

With such a fast paced world of techonology, the social media landscape is everchanging. Privacy issues are being addressed by a host of companies who focus on security solutions and parental monitoring services that aim at kids internet safety.  Very few social networks address some of the biggest concerns at any depth, such as online predators and sex offenders having access to children. The issue of bullying is also very real and now has taken the world by storm with “cyber bullying” via social networks.

The best way parents can ensure kids internet safety while allowing them to participate in social networks is to identify age-appropriate communities for them.  If your child is under 13, do not allow them to be on Facebook and talk to them about the risks. Since it is the most desired place for kids to be online, parents now have a way to feel comfortable with the privacy and exposure to kids.

The CreepSquash monitoring solution allows parents to monitor children’s accounts from a safe distance, and works anywhere a child accesses the social network.  No dashboards or computers to store information on, this innovative technology is a simple Facebook app that focuses 100% on kids internet safety.  Offering a free 30-Day Trial  with no obligation, it’s a no brainer for parents who want to loosen the leash and feel good about it.

Toxic-Friends? MSNBC Says That 8 in 10 People Have One

Posted on August 29, 2011 with No Comments

MSNBC discusses poisonous relationships or toxic friends and got an earful of responses from 18,000 women and 4,000 men.  Does parental control play a role in who we choose to be friends with?

They belittle and backbite and drive us batty with their soul-sucking behavior. Who are these hideous people? Our … um … friends, according to a joint survey conducted by TODAY.com and SELF magazine.

Readers were asked to come clean about these prickly — and at times, poisonous — relationships and got an earful from 18,000 women and 4,000 men.

In fact, 84 percent of women — and 75 percent of men — said they'd had a toxic friend at some point, with 1 in 3 survey takers fessing up to a toxic BFF.

Just how bad are our so-called friends? Sixty-five percent of you have been stuck with a self-absorbed sidekick (easily recognized by their fondness for the words "I, me, mine") while 59 percent have been buds with one of those draining emotional vampire types.

"I recommended a woman I knew for a job and she'd come in and you'd say hello and she'd sigh and grunt and tell you she had a headache or a back ache," says Lucia Patritto, a 53-year-old educator from Ironwood, Mich. "We're a positive bunch at work, but she was like this emotional wet blanket. She wasn't just a pill; she was a suppository. You could practically hear the Debbie Downer music."

Overly critical chums were next on the toxic friend hit list, with 55 percent of people having to suffer through their self-righteous stinkeyes or critical tirades.

Friends who undermined with insults or backhanded compliments came in at No. 4, with 45 percent admitting they were buds with a backstabber.
"My friend — who I've known since high school — would always make these snide remarks about my weight or my house or even my daughter," says Kerri LaFond, a 39-year-old executive assistant from Chicago.
 
"It was always followed up by 'Oh, I'm just kidding. Come on.' I started wondering if I was blowing it out of proportion. But she would say things I would never say to my friends."

Finally, flakes ranked fifth on the toxic turnoff list, with 37 percent owning up to an unreliable chum.

View the original article

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CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes online safety.  If you want to learn more about our parental  monitoring software tool that helps ward off creeps please visit our main page to learn more!  Please feel free to leave a comment or share this article with a friend!

Facebook used by imprisoned sex offenders and inmates

Posted on August 18, 2011 with 2 Comments

SACRAMENTO- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced it has begun reporting Facebook accounts set up and monitored by prison inmates to the Facebook Security Department. Facebook accounts set up and/or monitored on behalf of an inmate will be removed, as it is a violation of Facebook's user policies.

"Access to social media allows inmates to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity," CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. "This new cooperation between law enforcement and Facebook will help protect the community and potentially avoid future victims."

The Federal Bureau of Prisons National Gang Intelligence Center has reported increasing instances of inmates with active Facebook accounts. These active accounts are either maintained illegally by inmates or are administered by an outside person on behalf of the inmate.

As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure public safety both inside and outside the state's prisons, CDCR has been actively monitoring Facebook for accounts administered by inmates or on behalf of an inmate. The department has seen numerous instances in which inmates, using their Facebook accounts, have delivered threats to victims or have made unwanted sexual advances.

Last year, CDCR received a call from a mother of a victim of a child molester. The family had just returned from vacation to find several pieces of mail from the offender who was in state prison. The mail contained accurate drawings of

the woman's 17-year old daughter, even though it had been at least seven years since the offender had been convicted and sent to prison. Details of the victim, such as how she wore her hair and the brand of clothes she wore were accurate. An investigation revealed the inmate had used a cell phone to find and view the MySpace and Facebook web pages of the victim. With access to the pages, the offender was able to obtain current photos, which he used to draw his pictures.

Inmates are allowed to have Facebook profiles created prior to incarceration. If any evidence shows the account has been used while in the facility, Facebook Security will disable the account.

Over the past few years CDCR has seen a massive influx in the number of cell phones being used by prisoners. In 2006, correctional officers confiscated 261 devices, while in the first six months of this year, more than 7,284 were confiscated.

To report a Facebook account that you suspect is being administered by an inmate, or an outside party on behalf of the inmate, please contact CDCR's Office of Victim and Survivor Rights & Services, call toll free 1-877-256-OVSS (6877) or e-mail: victimservices@cdcr.ca.gov

Law enforcement representatives and members of the public can notify Facebook security of accounts administered by registered sex offenders. To report a registered sex offender's Facebook account visit: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=15160#!/help/contact.php?show_form=wos_sex_offender

For the original News Story Please Click Here.

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CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes online safety.  If you want to learn more about our parental  monitoring software tool that helps ward off creeps please visit our main page to learn more!  Please feel free to leave a comment or share this article with a friend!

Category: News, Online Predators

Teen girl found dead 3 days after posting on Facebook about stalker

Posted on August 2, 2011 with No Comments

Dorset, England – Just three days after posting a message on Facebook regarding an alleged stalker, the lifeless body of Emily Longley was found in Bournemouth, Dorset on Saturday.

Emily, 17, posted a Facebook message that read, “I have a stalker!!!”

She added, “Someone just called me and I was like ‘Who’s this?’”

Emily continued, “And they were like ‘You don’t know me but I know everything about you’ and I was like ‘How did you get my number?’ and he was like ‘I’ll tell you when I see you’ and kept asking me out.”

The aspiring model, who worked at a trendy clothing store, was clearly shaken by the incident and wrote, “So I hung up and they won’t stop calling… I’m really scared! Ha. It’s a private number as well. Some people need to get a life!”

Although her father claims the teenager died in her sleep, Dorset Police are investigating her death.

Two teenage males from Bournemouth were reportedly arrested Saturday, however, they were released on bail.

Read original article here

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CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes online safety.  If you want to learn more about our parental  monitoring software tool that helps ward off creeps please visit our main page to learn more!  Please feel free to leave a comment or share this article with a friend!

Category: News, Online Predators

Protecting Our Kids Together

Posted on July 26, 2011 with No Comments

Because we care, we have a responsibility to protect our children when online in facebook.

Facebook is reaching 800 million users. For other parents I find this alarming because this is the place my children spend a lot of their free time. What can I do without invading their privacy to keep them protected? Parents need tools to work with that ensure that kids' accounts can be monitored and protected from inappropriate or toxic friends, cyber-bullying and predators.

At Creepsquash, we promote a safe and secure environment for parents to protect to their children without invading their privacy. The easy to use technology informs parents of discussions that may cause irreversible damage, including sex, drugs, bully threats, potential predators or requests to meet in person.

An automated e-mail alert system generates notifications that are sent directly to the parent’s e-mail account when red flag words are used in instant messages or e-mails. The parent is also alerted whenever the child is tagged in photos, or suspicious friends are lurking. Additional features include the ability to determine a good friend from a bad influence with our Ask a Friend feature, or validate the Social Proof of someone who may be using a phony profile as a predator lure.

Parents are simply unable to be everywhere at all times. We cannot shield our children from all the evils of the world, but we need to take a stand as parents and be responsible. At Creepsquash, we foster Awareness, Protection and Prevention. We answer the call to duty that will keep millions of children and teenagers from slipping through the cracks and into the wrong hands. Our system is incredibly effective in a way that allows children to socialize and engage within a safe world online.

Try our 30-Day Free Trial!

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Category: News, Online Safety