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The Internet Education

Online Parent-Child Gap Widens 201

Posted by kdawson
from the hable-con-elle dept.
The Secret to Raising Smart Kids writes "A new study by Dafna Lemish from the Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University has found that there is an enormous gap between what parents think their children are doing online and what is really happening. 'The data tell us that parents don't know what their kids are doing,' says Lemish. The study found that 30% of children between the ages of 9 and 18 delete the search history from their browsers in an attempt to protect their privacy from their parents, that 73% of the children reported giving out personal information online while the parents of the same children believed that only 4% of their children did so, and that 36% of the children admitted to meeting with a stranger they had met online while fewer than 9% of the parents knew that their children had been engaging in such risky behavior. Lemish advises that parents should give their children the tools to be literate Internet users and most importantly, to talk to their children. 'The child needs similar tools that teach them to be [wary] of dangers in the park, the mall or wherever. The same rules in the real world apply online as well.'"
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Online Parent-Child Gap Widens

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  • Hmm? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JKConsult (598845) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:00AM (#22303016)
    Only 4% of parents think their child has given out personal information online, but 8+% (the only thing I can think from the way the summary puts it) believe their child has physically met a stranger they had met online? Is it just me, or is this backwards at best?
    • Not really. You could meet up with someone you met online without giving them any personal info. Use an alias, don't tell them your address or anything. Just say where to meet and what you'll be wearing. But it's kinda weird that parents think that their kids will be prudent enough to play the game carefully like that. If a kid was meeting a stranger that they got acquainted with online, I expect they probably would've given out personal info at some time. But what do I know? I'm just an out-of-touch
      • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:49AM (#22305076) Journal
        I came of age almost exactly at the crossroads time - the very earliest stages of AOL on a Mac when they still charged some $7/hr and "it was all brand new".

        After a discussion with my parents, we figured out a truism that's still useful: make acquaintances online all you want, but shield your personal info. Only when someone was close enough for a real visit did I share real info for purposes such as meeting in an activity club like an RPG group.

        Nowadays, shielding info at least slows down bored "Google Trolls" who want to look up anyone they stumble onto. As other threads pointed out, this now includes employers. A good boss will eventually get to know you, but you don't want to be the star of a passe Meme.

    • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:04AM (#22303052)
      Possibly backwards. What I want to know, and what the study doesn't provide, is an answer to this question:

      How many 'strangers online' did kids meet that were their own age?

      I'm sorry, but yes there are sicko pedophiles out there that will use the 'Net as a chance to meet your kid to molest it. But there are far MORE kids that want to meet the kids they hang out with online. It's part of that whole 'I have friends online' thing that some people think is hogwash.

      Yes. I have friends online. Friends that I have never met. Why are they my friends? Because I've known them for 1+ year and we hear each others troubles and joys. It's like a Pub/Bar buddy. But with less drinking usually.

      And considering how much computers are now a part of the newest generations lives, it wouldn't surprise me if more and more people hang out with the people they met online in real life.
      • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JKConsult (598845) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:16AM (#22303144)
        How many 'strangers online' did kids meet that were their own age?

        Yeah, I wondered this, too. But are a decent percentage of kids (even those over 14 or so, which I don't think of as "kids" in the generally accepted sense) really out there finding people who live right near them and meeting them? I even say this as someone who technically meets this criterion. I started college at 17 in 1996, and I randomly ran into some girl online who also went to my ( very large) school and lived two blocks away. We went out a few times, nothing much happened. But have things changed so much that it's common place for high-school kids to do this? I considered it an extremely weird coincidence at the time.
        • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:36AM (#22303290)

          But have things changed so much that it's common place for high-school kids to do this?

          "Like, ohmygawd, you are soooooo Becky's type! What's your phone number?"

          Is that considered "meeting online" now? How about if Becky and her beau text each other instead of calling? What if s/he finally digs up the courage to write someone they know of but don't know a short note^H^H^H^Hemail to say "Hi" and get things going? Is all of that considered "meeting online"?

          Because if it is, I'm 100% for it. I've got three young daughters, and frankly, I don't have any problem at all with my girls keeping suitors at arm's length. Any technology that makes it possible for them to get to know somebody first before they meet is A-OK in my book.

        • A couple of years I met a guy who knew me.
          It took a couple of days but he eventually realized that he had heard of me from the net.
          I didnt know who he was.

          That was a very weird moment. :)
          We didnt consider it normal at all.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dmsuperman (1033704)
          I met a girl online, through myspace. We talked, became friends, and eventually dated a couple times. This isn't uncommon.
        • by mqduck (232646)

          But have things changed so much that it's common place for high-school kids to do this? I considered it an extremely weird coincidence at the time.
          Me, I met all of my closest (real life) friends online.
          • by xSauronx (608805)
            Ive done the same, granted its a short list. Im from a small, conservative religious area but im not religious and im not conservative. I dont really get along well with most people around here.
      • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by plover (150551) * on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:16AM (#22303146) Homepage Journal

        And considering how much computers are now a part of the newest generations lives, it wouldn't surprise me if more and more people hang out with the people they met online in real life.

        My youth was spent hanging out with friends I met online, and we're still friends. As a matter of fact I met my wife on line 27 years ago. There's nothing wrong with meeting new friends who share your interests, and on-line is a great way for those friendships to happen.

        The whole 'pedophile' thing makes the nightly news because it's shocking and sells advertisements, not because it's commonplace. Even a tiny bit of common sense exercised by a parent is usually enough to keep their kids safe.

        • by symbolic (11752)
          After seeing several editions of 20/20 where they set up sting after sting, typically using an undercover female cop to pose as a much younger girl, I'm not so sure it's all that uncommon. Further, we have what seems to be an epidemic of female adults in trusted positions going after young males (13-17). I have to wonder how much of this is willing participation on the part of the "victim". It's definitely not my intent to suggest that adults should be going after kids, but kids need to wise up to the poten
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by plover (150551) *
            Exactly! It "seems" to be an epidemic because of the reporting. Do they report how many kids of the appropriate age are trying to make contact? In the context of all online meetings, though, what percent do predator-child contacts represent? 0.01% 1% 10%?

            And I'm not suggesting recklessness, such as a parent letting an unknown 45 year old man drive off with their 13 year old daughter, or letting a 9 year old use IRC unsupervised. But even a small amount of parenting will teach most kids to avoid the

          • by Eivind (15695)
            It depends heavily on what you're doing.

            If you pose as 17 year old female and frequent chatrooms with names like !!!!!!teens on a saturday late evening, yes you *will* receive a lot of indecent proposals in short order. Some of them from young sexually frustrated males, and quite possibly a few from older people posing as young.

            You'd have to be severly braindead to not figure that one out though. Infact, unless online sex-fantasies was what you where looking for you'd be monumentally stupid to do this in th
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bladesjester (774793)
            After seeing several editions of 20/20 where they set up sting after sting, typically using an undercover female cop to pose as a much younger girl, I'm not so sure it's all that uncommon.

            It's a lot less common than they'd like you to believe. It's sort of like the razorblades and used needles in Halloween candy thing in the 80's. It's the press sensationalizing something and making it sound widespread and ominous in order to get viewers and, consequently, ad revenue.

            Further, we have what seems to be an e
          • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Ignis Flatus (689403) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:48AM (#22303978)
            you make a good point. for some reason, even in our "enlightened" equal-rights-for-the-sexes age, we still treat the girls like half-retarded children. case in point, that boy in Georgia that was prosecuted for getting a blowjob from a teenage girl. iirc, she was about 15, old enough to know what she was doing. if underage sex is illegal, then she should have been prosecuted, too. but yet, girls never get prosecuted. if they get pregnant, we reward them.

            now, i'm not saying we should treat sex between young people as a criminal act, but... we can't keep treating females as feeble-minded victims. if anything, their social intelligence is much higher than the boys, and we have every reason to expect them to be accountable for their actions.
          • by cp.tar (871488)

            After seeing several editions of 20/20 where they set up sting after sting, typically using an undercover female cop to pose as a much younger girl, I'm not so sure it's all that uncommon. Further, we have what seems to be an epidemic of female adults in trusted positions going after young males (13-17). I have to wonder how much of this is willing participation on the part of the "victim". It's definitely not my intent to suggest that adults should be going after kids, but kids need to wise up to the potential dangers, and parents especially need to get a damn clue about what their kids are really up to.

            In my country, the age of consent is 14, excluding sexual intercourse with a person in a superior position (i.e. with a teacher, priest, policeman etc.). I find it a much more reasonable approach than all the "statutory rape before 18th birthday" crap.

            Puberty is when people start to want to have sex and when they should begin to experiment.

            And BTW: there was a case a year or two back, when a 14-year-old boy and his teacher had sex. Quite a lot, by some accounts.
            Then he bragged about that to his friends

        • by bcrowell (177657)

          Yeah. As a parent, it also strikes me as pretty silly to lump together ages 9-18. Nine is way different from 18.

          'The child needs similar tools that teach them to be [wary] of dangers in the park, the mall or wherever. The same rules in the real world apply online as well.'
          I'd rather have my kids out on the sidewalk getting some exercise and fresh air than have them cowering in their bedrooms, being afraid of child molesters lurking behind bushes. I don't want my kids to be wary. I'd like to teach them

        • by zx75 (304335)
          Hmm, please clarify... You met your wife on-line, in 1981? What form of the term 'on-line' are you referring to? Somehow "my youth... friends I met online" and "met my wife online 27 years ago" don't resolve in my head.
      • by Skynyrd (25155)
        36% of the children admitted to meeting with a stranger they had met online while fewer than 9% of the parents knew that their children had been engaging in such risky behavior.

        I find it hard to believe that over a third of kids have met somebody online, and in real life. 36%????

        Something is wrong with the study, the kids are lying, or it's being interpreted incorrectly. I'm just not buying it.

          - perhaps it's good that I don't have kids
        • by pipatron (966506)
          I find it hard to believe that it wasn't much more. Meeting people online is the ultimate way to get new friends. Some of those will be idiots and morons, but they will also appear in the classroom without any chance for you to stop seeing them daily.
      • by arivanov (12034)
        I would agree with it.

        The Internet what for us used to be the local street. We used to go out, play in the street and meet people. Unsupervised. And we are pretty much alive.

        Personally, I would prefer if we actually do it the Dutch and Danish way. In their residential districts they have wiped off the road markings, dropped the speed limit to 20 and put the vehicles on the lowest rung of the priority ladder. They also have suburbia. But they have kids playing out and about in it. The streets have been recla
    • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by igb (28052) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:09AM (#22303774)
      I don't believe the numbers. I'm reminded of the `video nasty' hysteria of the seventies. A study showed that some huge percentage of kids had seen video nasties, a study at odds with the number of video recorders in houses. So some proper researchers, rather than people looking for a headline, repeated the experiment, but rather than naming real video nasties they made up a bunch of titles. The numbers stayed the same. Why? Because kids
      • Knew what the adults wanted to hear, and were keen to please; and
      • Knew that video nasties were cool, so wanted to appear cool to their peers and the adults.
      The claim that 36% of children are meeting strangers they met online is prone to the same distortion. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the number runs so counter to general experience that it must relate to a specific population, or have confounding factors. I'd be surprised if there were many communities in the UK, at least, where much more 36% of children simultaneously had access to computers and were allowed out unsupervised, which makes the number perhaps sixty percent of those with motive and opportunity. I'm sorry, I just don't believe that. ian
      • According to a study done at my HS in 1971 I had the drinking habits of a middle aged alcoholic. Most of my friends claimed similarly fancifull drinking habits simply because the study was annonomous and ..well.. we were 12. Also some of my friends claimed to have read Mao's "little red book" which was banned at the time, funny thing was they all claimed it was some sort of sex manual!

        As for peodophiles, it's the same now as it ever was. The overwhelming majority are known and trusted by the family and a
      • by u38cg (607297)
        Yes. I work with young kids - 10-18 - quite a lot and I have no doubt that there are very few kids indeed who are actually dim enough to do something like this. Most of them treat it (and the warnings they receive) as a standing joke.
  • Risky Behavior (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:01AM (#22303030)
    36% admitted to meeting strangers?? Risky Business? I call bull

    When they say stranger, they mean...ANYONE THE KID HASNT MET BEFORE.

    Damn media blows the whole "online predator" shit way out of proportion. The same kids that meet 45 yr old men are the same ones that would get into a van because the guy offered them candy.

    Protect the children my ass. Just makes politicians look good

    • by plover (150551) *

      Damn media blows the whole "online predator" shit way out of proportion. The same kids that meet 45 yr old men are the same ones that would get into a van because the guy offered them candy.

      Well, you know what they say: "Strangers have the best candy!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by trytoguess (875793)
      Eh, I agree. I've met a fair amount of strangers as a kid via online contacts. Course, it was always in a public space, usually with friends, and occasionally said person would be approved by someone else I knew. I mean I wasn't a smart kid or anything, but I've been drilled on the whole don't trust strangers thing to have a decent idea of how to meet one. This isn't to say that everyone will act like I did, but imo the simple act of meeting a new person isn't going to necessarily hurt a child/teen. Most pe
    • ...and Children never met stangers before the internet .. and peadophiles did not exist ...

  • Parents think they can sit their kids down in front of "the box" and let it do their parenting for them.

    Then they want to "blame society" when their kids turn out to be basically "white trash" or whatever.

    Here's a clue folks, if you don't actively "parent your kids", your kids will end up being hopeless lowlife clueless losers.
    • by cromar (1103585)
      I agree with you... don't call people trash though.
  • by plover (150551) * on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:04AM (#22303054) Homepage Journal
    So I figured I knew what my teenager was up to. Nothing he'd find particularly worried me, as long as he didn't start espousing Nazi rhetoric or join some freaky cult.

    I was mostly hoping he was learning to hack, but afraid that he was probably just surfing for pr0n and MP3s... I did warn him a couple times about file sharing, and I did maintain control of the router. But for the most part, he was responsible, so I let him be.

    I was richly rewarded. He's 20 and turning out to be a hacker, much to my relief. :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by calebt3 (1098475)
      You were modded funny because you claimed to have a child, which is logically impossible for a /.er
  • by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:13AM (#22303128)
    According to a recent study [sciencedaily.com], parents are becoming increasingly negligent when it comes to raising their children. The study found that over one-third (38%) of children had been allowed to meet with a stranger they met on the internet. Parental standards have been falling for years, but this recent study gives insight as to the increasing threat of a lack of parental oversight.

    In an unrelated study, scientists found that approximately 40% of people aged 9-18 years old should be "destroyed for the good of mankind."
  • Fixed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by trickster721 (900632)
    "Lemish advises that children should give their parents the tools to be literate Internet users"

    Seriously, the idea that the only people who meet new friends online are cruising for illegal sex reminds me of Victorians refusing to answer the telephone because that wasn't how suitable people became acquainted.

    Remember that case of the girl who killed herself because her former best friend and their parents, people she knew from real life, were tormenting her online? I was just reading about how when th
    • Re:Fixed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:39AM (#22303308)
      i don't want my kids on myspace. not because I'm 'paranoid and afraid of the internets' but because I think myspace is a stupid waste of time; an internet trailor park.

      Of course I won't forbid it. Then they'll just create one and access it from the school library or their friends house or something. Or try and get sneaky and hide their tracks on one of the systems here.

      But I'm going to do everything in my power to convince them that myspace and facebook and crap like that is beneath them.

      Of course, this all coming from a guy on slashdot... but still I'd rather have them wasting their time here than on myspace. ;)

      • by igb (28052)

        i don't want my kids on myspace. not because I'm 'paranoid and afraid of the internets' but because I think myspace is a stupid waste of time

        Precisely. I don't even bother preventing it, although I make my general contempt for all social networking known. I just steer the kids towards other things they could be doing online, and then to real-world activities (music, sport --- there's the ferrying to Saturday morning orchestras, we swim together, cycle together, etc). If it became an issue I'd split th

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by zenkonami (971656)
        I wouldn't let my kids on MySpace just because I wouldn't want them to learn poor web design.

        If I had kids.

  • by unbug (1188963) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:20AM (#22303184)
    Let's RTFA for a change. It says: "Thirty-six percent from the high school group admitted to meeting with a stranger they had met online" (empasis mine). That is, these "children" are between 16 and 18. Also, I strongly suspect that those strangers are mostly other kids just like them. Talk about spin.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      16 is old enough to drink in several countries, it is old enough to meet with other people. I have with people I meet online, but mostly because I find we go to the same school, or are in the same major.
    • by matria (157464)
      Well, this may be of particular concern to Israeli parents due to the case a few years ago of the 16-year old boy lured out by a 24-year old Palestinian woman then dragged out of the car and machine-gunned by her partners.
  • by Nemilar (173603) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:35AM (#22303280) Homepage
    There's a pretty big difference between a 9 year old and an 18 year old, especially when it comes to what they should/should not be doing online.

    For example, deleting your search history? The nine year old hasn't really got anything to be doing that for; the 18 year old may be googling about any number of things he/she doesn't want her parent to be aware of: sex education (protection, diseases, etc), boyfriends/girlfriends, etc.. Teenagers are especially protective of their privacy.

    Giving out personal information online, i.e, signing up for things, is something 18 year olds may do every day, while a 9 year old shouldn't be doing it at all. Myspace, anyone? (Although the 4% response by parents make me think they don't know what's required to sign up for a lot of these things, or the type of information you post to facebook.)

    Meeting with someone you met online is risky business no matter what age you are; a 9-year-old certainly shouldn't be doing at all, but hopefully the 18-year-olds aren't dumb enough to meet a stranger at his/her house, or in a dark alley somewhere. But (take Craigslist for example) there are some reasons why you'd legitimately be meeting someone you only came into contact with on the internet, and it's perfectly safe as long as you do it smart (public place, daylight, etc). 18 year olds are smart enough to do this (hopefully); 9 year olds are not.

    So yes, while they are doing a survey of minors (who are the responsibilities of their parents/guardians), the age ranging from 9 prepubescent to 18 (ready to go off to college) is too wide for the figures to be of any real meaning.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eivind (15695)
      The questions seem designed to evoke alarm more than enligthen. I give out personal information freely every day, dozen of times. Look, I'm named "Eivind", and can be reached at a certain email-adress. Both are true. Both are personal information. Both put me in no risk I can think of.

      Besides, the entire "17 year old = kid" thing is stupid.

      I've had a 17 year old girl "give out personal details" to an adult online, namely me. Infact she even took an airplane to come visit me where I lived at the time, and th
  • FTA: She suggests that common filtering software may not be effective, since children will access what they are looking for elsewhere -- at a friend's house, an Internet café, or school. And if the child accesses dangerous material outside of the home, they will be unprepared and uninformed when it happens, she says. (Emphasis mine)

    What is this "it"? "It" is a word that must refer to something previously stated. Unprepared and uninformed when what happens? And what is this "dangerous material" that
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by unbug (1188963)

      What is this "it"?
      I think it's pretty clear that "it" refers to accessing dangerous material. Whatever that may be.
    • Just because a kid might be reading something about blowing stuff up is no cause for concern.

      I recall my mother getting all antzy about me reading a book on witchcraft when I was a kid. I had no intentions on getting into Wicca, and big deal if I did. I was just curious, that's all.

      Such paranoia that permeates our culture today. Everyone needs to calm down, take a chill pill, and honestly ask the question of is there any real reason to be concerned? What do the reliable stats show? What's all the screami

  • Yeah (Score:3, Funny)

    by barakn (641218) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:54AM (#22303392)
    ... and children never lie on surveys.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:00AM (#22303440) Homepage

    Child molestation is mostly by friends and family, plus the occasional priest. 80% friends and family, 20% strangers. So, kids, get out of the house, stay away from churches, and head for the mall.

  • Lemish advises that parents should give their children the tools to be literate Internet users and most importantly, to talk to their children.


    No. I'm sure that almost every parent talks to their children already, and if this study is to be believed, it doesn't do any good. What's needed is for parents to talk with their children, and that includes both listening to what they say and discussing things with them instead of just lecturing them.

  • What about (Score:2, Informative)

    by kylehase (982334)
    the parent-technology gap? I mean who's going to educate the kids about the dangers of the Internet when the kids know more about the Internet than their parents? I know a lot of parents that click on those "warning your computer is infected with viruses" banners. Can you imagine if they told their kids, "Click on that! We must have a virus!"
  • The article doesn't go into detail about what "meeting strangers" actually means. Is this one-on-one? In a group? I've met plenty of "strangers" that I knew online because they were friends of friends.

  • Parents (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:02AM (#22303746)

    I could be wrong her, but it seems that people fear what they don't know. Are there reasons to fear some things on the internet? Yes, there certainly are... and there are tons of wastes of time on the internet, tons of bad things, etc. But when a parent decides the whole thing is incredibly dangerous - because the don't know any better - then there's a problem.

    I'd imagine it's like parks. What if the only thing you heard about public parks was drugs, for example. Well, that's quite possibly true at 3am. This is probably not news to most parents - and if it is, they shouldn't be parents - letting your 13 year old daughter walk around the park at 3am is probably not a good idea. Now, if parents knew nothing about parks and figured that the whole thing was a bad place, that's totally different... whether or not your kid can ever go alone or not (during the day) is a personal decision, and I'm sure there are parks that probably are bad, period, but in general, ignorance of the park contributes to paranoia, if anything.

    Applying that to the internet then, ignorance of it seems to be a huge problem. Giving a 9 year old complete access of the computer, not talking to him about anything, giving him a 1.5Mbit connection... uh, well, that seems pretty silly. Giving him nothing because you're afraid of the whole thing, that's also bad. Why is this so hard to figure out? Do you just give your kid a car when he turns 16 and hope he can end up driving safely? (sorry, had to use a car analogy). Nooo, seems like one of the points of parenting is to impart your wisdom from experience, and if you don't have experience in it, get experience in it and exercise wisdom, not paranoid behavior as if everything not around in 1975 is bad.

    Oh, last comment. I find it interesting that parents think public schools are great places to send their kid and have no clue what goes on and get paranoid about the internet. I dunno. Maybe it's just that society is stupid now (parents included in that social generalization).

  • 36% of 'children' met with strangers that they met on-line

    Not in the USA. Maybe in Israel, but still, .... probably not.

    And the category of children being between the ages of 9 to 18? 18-year-olds are not children in any sense except in certain legal categories. 'met strangers'? Yeah, maybe, 18 year olds in neighboring high-schools meeting each other for coffee or just hanging out after looking at each other's picture and trading instant messages about common interests. N
    • 18-year-olds are not children in any sense. They can enter into non-voidable contracts, vote, and be drafted. Just because they can't drink alcohol or run for President doesn't mean they're in any sense minors.
  • Cugals... (Score:3, Funny)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:01AM (#22304062)
    In Israel, if a girl working at a check-out counter thinks you are hot, then she'll write her phone number on the cash register slip. So does a check-out line count as an on-line encounter?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:07AM (#22304100)
    Hey, the suggestion those guys give is actually a good one! Teach your kids to use the net sensibly. Protect your privacy, be wary of strangers that offer you deals that are "too good to be true", don't just trust people because they appear nice online...

    And that teaching should come from the same people that fill out every damn form on a "click the monkey to win" spin, answer "easy money fast" spam and hand out their banking details to widows of Nigerian presidents?

    Sorry, but first of all we'd have to teach the parents, the adults, how to be safe online. But that is so much work, and we don't want to deal with that internet thingamajig stuff that our kids are so much into, ain't there some program that could do it? Or wait, what do we have a government for, anyway, they should handle that!
  • by certsoft (442059)
    I'm much more worried about a mine-shaft gap.
  • There is a contradiction in this article. It encourages parents to "educate" their kids about the Internet while stating the kids know more about the Internet than they do: "Prof. Lemish believes that one problem is that parents are not as media-literate as they could be. They don't have a handle on using popular online software and chat programs, and tend to have no clue about what is really happening online" Having been a moderator in large teen forum, I know its a kid's friends and close peers that wil
  • kids have more of a grasp of technology then their parents. new factor zero.

    and is anyone shocked kids are meeting people from online? big fucking deal i did it back in my day when BBS's were the go, and i never got kiddy fiddled, probably because my parents instilled this thing called common sense in me which today's parents desperately protect their kids from.

    And why is everyone dismayed that kids go on the internet looking for porn? fuck if i had a teenager who didn't look for porn THEN i'd be concerne

  • by PotatoHead (12771) <dougNO@SPAMopengeek.org> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @08:37AM (#22305296) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so there are baddies and pr0n on line. That's reality.

    What they are not reporting is how to deal with this as a parent. Two kinds of parents. Geek ones and non-geek ones. From there, you get two more sub-types. Parents who take the time and parents that don't.

    Just pulling numbers outta my ass, I think it's safe to day only 1 in 4 parents actually share the Internet with their kids and...

    THAT IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM.

    So fix that and suddenly we don't have this "but think of the kiddies" scare.

    (From that 1 in 4 parents, who has taken the time)

    1. Surf with your kids.

    2. Build a trust relationship. They need to know you are there to help them and you both are there to learn stuff.

    If you hear about them doing something bad, before they tell you about it, they get hammered really hard. On the other hand, if they run into a situation and bring it to you, they get help with it, not harsh judgement.

    Kids who are looking at pr0n online have needs that are not being met otherwise. It's ugly, for some parents, but they need to deal with that and the pr0n issue will go away. This is true for most online behaviors. Deal with it.

    3. It's ok to lie on the net. Sort all that out with them and establish good behaviors with them. This is why you surf with them --to provide context.

    Lots more, but just doing those will bring the kid - parent online relationship to a level that is safe.

    We need to see more articles like this, and far fewer scary ones. Nothing worse than scared and ignorant people trying to parent kids.

    • by flajann (658201)
      In other words, if a parent is actually being a parent in the first place, then there is no cause for concern. Articles like this never cease to amaze me because they are rendered moot if the parent is doing his job.
  • Aside from all the stuff already said about kids being online, one amusement that I often have is in the notion of what a "kid" or "minor" is. Yes, there's the one-size-fits-all legal definition, but that definition is largely meaningless.

    Parents are the best ones to be able to gauge the maturity level of their own individual "kids". No law can determine that. No bureaucrat can define that.

    Personally, I have no problem with a 19-year-old going out with a 16-year-old, unless the 16-year-old (or the 19-

  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @09:11AM (#22305506) Journal
    The study found that 30% of children between the ages of 9 and 18 delete the search history from their browsers in an attempt to protect their privacy from their parents, that 73% of the children reported giving out personal information online

    Okay, so 30% of kids understand the implications of their online presence enough to clear the cache to protect their privacy - But then (at least) 10% (((73+30)-100)/30) of those same kids give out personal info online?

    Does not compute - Unless this "survey" had extremely biased questions in a sad attempt to prove how dangerous we should all consider the spooooooooky intarweb. For example, what constitutes "personal info"? Using a real name to register for a website? Buying something through Amazon? Clicking "I am not over 18" to get redirected to disney.com?



    36% of the children admitted to meeting with a stranger they had met online

    Same problem - What constitutes "meeting with a stranger"? At the younger end of the surveyed age range, they have no ability to really go anywhere without parental assistance; this suggests "stranger" means "classmate I don't really know very well". And at the higher end of the age range, we have people who don't really draw a line between "online" and "real" friends, and who quite likely have attended at least one online-community-specific gathering (such as a Fark Party or the like).



    Nothing but FUD for parents.
  • My kid (he's seven) is only online when we let him, using my iBook. In the living room.

    He's not going to have a computer in his room until he's old enough to move out. We will see what he's doing.

    Parenting involves actually paying attention to your children, not dumping them as soon as possible.

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