FIXMYPCUK Computer Repairs

Around the Manchester area

Making the net safer for Children

If you ever come across child abuse online or have any worries report it here

If you're not in the UK area check here

Encourage your kids to share their Internet experiences with you. Enjoy the Internet along with your children.

People often ask me how to protect their children while they use the Internet.

The simple reality is that there is no definite way to do this, it's a mixture of common sense and good practice along with some programs installed to monitor their activities if you want to go that far.

Some Things You Can Teach Kids to Help Improve Online Safety

Before you allow your children to go online without your supervision, make sure you establish a set of rules that you can all agree on.
If you're not sure where to start, here are some ideas on what to discuss with your kids to teach them about using the Internet more safely:
One of the main things that I cannot stress firmly enough is to have your chids internet access supervised, this means having the computer in a room where there is an adult present and not in a bedroom
If they want a computer in a bedroom, make sure it is not, and cannot be connected to the internet.

  • Teach your kids to trust their instincts. If they feel nervous about anything online, they should tell you about it.
  • If your children visit chat rooms, use instant messaging programs, online video games, or other activities on the Internet that require a login name to identify themselves,
    help them choose that name and make sure it doesn't reveal any personal information about them.
  • Insist that your kids never give out your address, phone number, or other personal information, including where they go to school or where they like to play.
  • Teach your kids that the difference between right and wrong is the same on the Internet as it is in real life.
  • Show your kids how to respect others online. Make sure they know that rules for good behavior don't change just because they're on a computer.
  • Insist that your kids respect the property of others online. Explain that making illegal copies of other people's work - music, video games, and other programs - is just like stealing it from a store.
  • Tell your kids that they should never meet online friends in person. Explain that online friends may not be who they say they are.
  • Teach your kids that not everything they read or see online is true. Encourage them to ask you if they're not sure.
  • Control your children's online activity with advanced Internet software. Parental controls can help you filter out harmful content, monitor the sites that your child visits and find out what they do there.

A Parents guide to online safety
This is a generalisation and the ages are not fixed, this is just to give you some ideas.

A major problem more so in the UK and Ireland than in the US, is teenagers think it's great meeting people online and then meeting them in person
This is done without the knowledge of the parents in the majprity of cases, and surprisingly in a lot of cases these meetings are with people they have not known for very long and have no proof that they are who they say that are, or even how old they really are
Some teenagers are under the misunderstanding that they will be safe because they bring a friend with them, While this is a good start it is by no means safe, and it has been known for the "friend" to leave them alone after a few minutes where anything could happen
The safe thing to do is NOT to meet anyone no matter who they think they are, unless you or some other responsible adult is present, should the other person reject this idea, or have misgivings about it, ask yourself "WHY".

AGES 2 to 4:
During this stage, online activity is most likely to involve parents.
Parents can hold children in their laps while they look at family photographs, use a Web cam to communicate with relatives, I would not recommend you let them visit any web sites unsupervised.

AGES 5 to 6:
By the time they reach age five, children may want to explore the Web by themselves.
It's important for parents to guide their children on safer Internet surfing as the children start to use the Internet themselves.
Visit sites designed especially for children under eight and use special child-friendly search tools.
Parental Controls allow you to filter objectionable Web content and provide a safe environment for early Web explorers!

AGES 7 to 8:
Part of normal behaviour for children in this age group is seeing what they can get away with.
While online, this might include going to sites or talking in chat rooms to which parents wouldn’t give them permission.
Online activity reports in Windows Vista Parental Controls can be especially helpful during this stage.
Kids may not feel that their parents are looking over their shoulders, but the report still shows where they’ve been.

AGES 9 to 12:
At this age they want to know everything, and they've heard what’s available on the Web. It’s normal for them to try to see what's there.
For subject matters parents find objectionable, parents can use Windows Vista Parental Controls to help block content.
Parental Control Software also enables you to determine how much computer time is appropriate.
You should limit the amount of time each day that your children spend on the computer accessing the Internet or playing games.
You can schedule times and durations independently for each child.
Again I reiterate do not give your child internet access in a room where they are totally alone and know that they will not be disturbed, make certain they know you can and will check on what they are doing.
Parental Controls also restricts access to many Windows components and settings to prevent configuration changes. Restrict access to the contents of selected drives, Administrator Tools, Control Panel and Network controls, Taskbar and Start Menu properties, Command Prompt and more.

AGES 13 Upwards
Helping teenagers with online safety is especially tricky, because they often know more than their parents about Internet software.
Even with older kids, it's important for parents to take an active role in guiding their children's Internet use.

Strict adherence to online safety rules, agreed upon by parent and children, and frequent reviews of children's online activity reports can be especially important and helpful.

Limit online chat, game playing or other programs to the days and times you specify.

Better yet, install a parental control software package on your computer that your child cannot bypass, kill or circumvent Parental Controls.

Even computer-savvy children will not be able to see it running.
Parental Controls prohibit any attempt to change the clock, rename or reinstall the program or tamper with the product in any way.

In addition, parents should remember to keep their own passwords secure, so that teens cannot sign in as parents.

Things to remember
There are many activities that need to be tracked when you have children;
Emails, Instant Messaging, Keystrokes, Web Sites visited, Programs used, Files Downloaded, and User Logons.
What emails are your kids sending and receiving? Are they suitable for their age group? Is anyone mailing them that you do not approve of?
This also relates to sites like; Bebo, Myspace, Facebook Twitter and many other online social networking sites.
Insist that you know your child's password to log on and check their activities, or install a keystroke monitoring software solution so you can check without them knowing.

Instant Messaging is another area that parents do not know enough about.
Rather jumping into the technical specifics it comes down to this.
ALL conversations are recorded by the company performing the service whether it is AOL or MSN.
Do you know what your kids are saying or what information they may be volunteering about you and your family?
Insist that the logs for the program are turned on, this is simple to do, its usually in the tools, options settings, and allows you to read any conversations sent or received

Keystrokes typed on your kids computer are important because there are some programs that allow the user to respond to questions. These questions could compromise you or your family's private data.
In relation to this, children often get sent online surveys by "friends" which contain simple questions like what you are wearing and so on,
While this seems by your child to be innocent enough in some circumstances, remember that everything typed online is public and can be seen by many people and not just who it was meant for.
TRY and get through to them the dangers of sharing personal information.
Too many times I've seen when people join sites such as Bebo, Myspace, Facebook and many many others, they think they are being wise and clever by not putting their address on the form, but they usually put their real postcode in, and leave it on their public profile

This allows ANYONE to track where they live to within a few houses.

The web sites that your child visits should be known by you. Are they visiting porn sites?

Have they signed up for free email without you knowing about it? Where are they visiting and what are they doing?

What programs are they using on the computer? Have they loaded other kinds of programs on the computer? Installing a new application is easy and it can be hidden from you.

Another interesting item relates to Downloads. There are all kinds of files that can be downloaded but today they generally relate to video clips and music. Are they legally downloaded and are they appropriate for your child?

This next subject will be a matter of controversy, however I'm including it as it may help someone.

Please talk to your child about the following as they may know about it already but I'm certain they will not realise the ramifications of it.

Teenagers these days and sometimes people much younger are not only very internet savy, but they are also very sexually aware.
It is not unheard of for teenage boys to talk to teenage girls and talk them into going on webcam, or sending still shots of themselves in their underwear, or even stripping and posing for them
It is also commmon enough for these photos and videos to be shared amongst friends, without the knowledge or permission of the person involved, indeed the girl or boy may not even realise that what they are doing on webcam can, and does be recorded.

This is not only related to webcams, it also applies to mobile phones. It is very common for indecent pictures to be shared by media messaging, and indecent talks discussed by text messaging.

I'm sorry if this offends you, but I'd rather get offended here and realise the possibilities of what may be happening without your knowledge than discover it when it's too late.

While young people MAY find this acceptable, and even possibly fun, they do not realise the dangers, or if they do, they do not consider the dangers relevant, "they think themselves too smart to be caught out."

They almost never consider the person they are sharing items with may be older than them, and may indeed be an adult.

They also never ever consider the fact that what they are doing is not only unlawful but it could end up with them in prison and on the sex offenders register.

See this page for more information about sexting

Ask any teenager or young person what the age of consent is in the UK and they will almost all know it's 16, however if you ask them can you take indecent pictures of themselves at 16 and almost all will say yes.

This is NOT the case, the age for taking or possessing indecent pictures of anyone in the UK is 18 not 16,
the only exception is when the two persons are married to each other.

Please be aware that "indecent Pictures" means not only naked pictures, but pictures of anyone under 18 in underwear, or even wearing a swimming costume if they are "posing" and it could be deemed "provocative".

If they have any (or had any) indecent images they could end up prison or on the sex offenders register OR if it's your computer YOU could end up being punished for what your child has done simply because you haven't checked on them.

This applies to mobile phones, ipads or any electronic equipment that is can take pictures

Please do NOT ignore this just because your child is only 9 or 10, giving them unsupervised access to the internet is a danger and you must take precautions, even if it means discussing the above with them, or installing software to secretly monitor what they do online.

You may be worried that at some stage either you or your child may have inadvertantly looked at something inapropriate or illegal and worried because as a responsible parent you should know that deleted items are never deleted, they are merely hidden.
These items stay on your computer and can be recovered and viewed by any law enforcement agency

We have the answer...

We can securely delete and shred anything that has ever been on your computer, including all the hidden copies and references to files, to higher than the NASA standard. This makes it almost impossible for any deleted information to be ever recovered or viewed.

Please note this will take 2 days to complete and we will have to restore your operating system
We will do our best to keep all your personal documents and pictures but you will need the install disks or files for any programs you want to have reinstalled.

Posted on February 23rd 2013