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Friday, March 13, 2009

Tips about Sexting

According to a recent survey 1 in 5 teens have sent or posted revealing images of themselves, but more of them (4 out of 5) have thought about it and not done it. Help your child decide to not “sext” by using these discussion tips from NetSmartz Workshop.

Confront Teens about Sexting

Tips to Prevent Sexting

Confront Teens about Sexting

May of last year, we first brought you news of an emerging trend among young people—the sharing of sexual images and texts through cell phones, commonly known as SEXTING. Due to the widespread availability of mobile technology, the sky-high hormone levels of young people, and the difficulty that they can have understanding the consequences of their decisions, not-so-innocent text messages are being sent from cell phones all over America.
It’s particularly distressing when the consequences of sexting get so out of hand that a teenager feels the only solution is suicide. When Jesse Logan pressed ‘send’ from her cell phone, she did not imagine that an audience beyond her boyfriend would receive her nude pictures.

As trusted adults with a mission to protect children online, engage your communities on the issue of sexting. Share these tips with young people so that they are better informed. To read more about the tragic story of Jesse Logan, visit the NetSmartz blog.

·         THINK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES of taking, sending, or forwarding a sexual picture of someone underage, even if it’s of you. You could get kicked off of sports teams, face humiliation, lose educational opportunities, and even get in trouble with the law.
·         NEVER TAKE images of yourself that you wouldn’t want everyone—your classmates, your teachers, your family, or your employers—to see.
·         BEFORE HITTING SEND, remember that you can’t control where this image may travel. What you send to a boyfriend or girlfriend could easily end up with their friends, and their friends, and their friends…
·         IF YOU FORWARD a sexual picture of someone underage, you are as responsible for this image as the original sender. You could face child pornography charges, go to jail, and have to register as a sex offender.   
·         REPORT any nude pictures you receive on your cell phone to an adult you trust. Do not delete the message. Instead, get your parents or guardians, teachers, and school counselors involved immediately.
For more information about sexting or other Internet safety issues, please contact Laurie Nathan at or 703-838-8194.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Her teen committed suicide over 'sexting' - Parenting & Family-

Safewave - Creating iLANDS of Safety for Kids Online

The FREE Solution to Internet Safety for Kids

The only FREE & SECURE internet safe haven for children aged 5-18 enriched with education, games and social interactions all in an age appropriate web site.

iKeepSafe: Symantec Launches Norton Online Family

Symantec Launches Norton Online Family That Connects Parents to Their Kids’ Online Lives and Introduces Advisory Council

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Feb. 2009 – Symantec Corporation announced the public beta of a new Web-based service, currently named Norton Online Family during the beta period, that’s designed to help parents protect children online and connect with their online lives. The service not only encourages discussion between parents, it is also easy-to-use and provides customizable tools that keep kids safe online.

Norton Online Family allows not-so-technically-savvy parents to gain a better understanding of their children’s online world. “Norton Online Family takes a different approach from today’s parental control solutions by providing tools that help parents understand their kids’ online world,” said Marian Merritt, Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate and Norton Online Family Advisory Council lead. “These tools include the ability to show what kids are actually searching for on ten different search sites, including Google, YouTube and Wikipedia. Parents can also confirm kids’ IM friends and monitor conversations with unconfirmed friends, as well as see the number and type of social networking accounts their kids have and their published age on these sites.”

Symantec also announced the formation of the Norton Online Family Advisory Council, a committee of experts to test the beta. This council is comprised of leaders in children’s online safety who are interested in fostering better communication between parents and children. The members are:

·        Dr. David S. Bickham – PhD, Staff Scientist, Center on Media and Child Health Children’s Hospital, Boston

·        Anne Collier – Co-Director,

·        Marsali Hancock - President, Internet Keep Safe Coalition

·        Robin Raskin – “The Internet Mom”

·        Tim Sullivan – President, PTO Today (Parent Teacher Organization) and School Family Media, Inc.

·        Vanessa Van Petten – Teen Author & Blogger,

And for a list of additional resources about family online safety is available at

Download 'A Safer Online Experience' White Paper From Microsoft

Download ‘A Safer Online Experience’ White Paper From Microsoft

Internet Explorer 8 RC1 has been around for quite a few days and users are finding it as faster than Firefox browser. Microsoft will be launching the final version of Internet Explorer in a few weeks.


To help the Windows and Internet Explorer users, Microsoft released a white paper named "A Safer Online Experience" recently. If you are using or planning to use Internet Explorer 8, then it’s worth to read the white paper.


* How Internet Explorer 8 Helps You Stay Safer Online

* How Cybercriminals Operate

* Protecting Against Attacks on You

* What Can You Do To Be Safer?

* Blocking Malicious Websites

* Social Engineering Attacks

* Websites Offering Free Games, Movies or TV Shows

* Phishing Attacks

* Protecting Against Attacks On Your Computer

* What’s a Drive-By-Attack?


I am sure that "A Safer Online Experience" white paper will take your knowledge to the next level. Just download the small PDF file and start reading.

|Download A Safer Online Experience|


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Associated Press: Stalkers turn to cell phones to 'textually harass'

Stalkers turn to cell phones to 'textually harass'


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The college student had endured months of online and cell phone harassment from her ex-boyfriend. She ignored the barrage of e-mails, changed her phone number and dismantled online profiles to cut him off.

Then one evening, her cell phone signaled a new text message. It was him again.

"You should keep to yourself and stay away from other people," the message said, according to the student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared for her safety. Her ex had found her photo online and attached it.

Read more:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Digital Smarts Blog: The Move To Ban Talking on Cell Phones While Driving

Digital Smarts Blog: The Move To Ban Talking on Cell Phones While Driving

The Move To Ban Talking on Cell Phones While Driving

While the move to ban cell phones isn't new, it's already illegal in many states, counties and cities, what is new is research that says that a hands-free phone poses no less danger than a hand-held one. In other words, the problem is not your hands but your brain. That's why the National Safety Council, the nonprofit advocacy group that has pushed for seat belt laws and drunken driving awareness, has called for an all-out ban on using cellphones while driving. Perhaps it is time to talk to your teens about this. Lots of them have headsets they use while driving. While we are all tempted to answer a call or mke one, looks like it might not be such a good idea.

Tech Talk: Sexting: Consumer Reports Electronics Blog

February 24, 2009

Tech Talk: Sexting

Cell-phone-camera Q: What is "Sexting?"

A: Sexting, according to Wikipedia, is a risque new communication trend where cell phone users—typically teens—create and exchange provocative, sexual images of themselves using their cell phones' built-in digital camera.

The term has been around for a while, and a survey from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy suggests that one in five teens have "electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves."

But more than just a risky behavior, passed off as youthful indiscretion among teens and young adults, sexting can lead to serious legal repercussions. Six Pennsylvania teens, ages 14 through 17, now face child pornography charges after they were caught sexting each other.

If you're concerned about your child's potential exposure to sexting, here are some points to consider:

Outline the risks. Make sure they understand what can happen if they engage in such risky behavior. It's not only embarrassing, but it can open them up to much greater dangers—such as online bullying. (Ask your daughter what will her "boyfriend" do with those pictures of her once they "break up?") Make sure they know that once such pictures are sent out from their cell phone, there's no telling where those images will go or who will ultimately see it.

Consider getting your teen a camera-less cell phone. You can find a list of basic phones in our Ratings of cell phones (available to subscribers). That might reduce your kids' risk of temptation to take and share embarrassing self-portraits. But be aware that your kids can still be at risk. (Their peers—and others—can still take embarrassing shots if your kids fall victim to peer pressure.) And even a basic phone can still receive—and forward—sexting messages.

Disable attachments on text-messages. Some cell phones and cell service providers can limit what can be sent and received via text-messaging. Check the manual that came with your child's cell phone and contact your wireless service provider. If you can't disable attachments, consider turning off text messaging and go with a voice-only plan.

Spot checks. Go over your monthly cell phone bill and look for unusual patterns such as a rise in the number and frequency of text messages and a spike in "data traffic." Also, make it a policy to physically inspect your child's cell phone at random intervals. Look in the cell phone's memory (including any removable memory card slots), text-messaging "inbox" and "sent" folders for risky images and messages.

Remember, sexting can do lasting damage. Images can spread like wildfire. And while your kids might think some pics aren't "porno" or "sexy" or "a big deal," as those six Pennsylvania teens are discovering, passing around what can be legally considered "kiddie porn" is a crime that law enforcement pursues vigorously!

For more on privacy issues and staying safe online, be sure to check out our Guide to Online Security, which features a section on protecting your kids. You'll also find more safety tips on our Babies & kids Blog and Safety Blog.

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