It’s out there.
You don’t have to look hard or long to find it.
Sometimes it finds you.
We’re living in a “brave new world”. The Internet impacts people’s world view, perhaps more than any invention in modern times. It is a fascinating place, full of interesting information. As a gigantic virtual community, it has “good neighborhoods”, “questionable neighborhoods”, and some that can only be considered “bad neighborhoods”.
Not only are there places whose content is inappropriate for children, but there is a growing threat from “MalWare”; malicious software–including viruses– that can cause unending grief. The authors of MalWare are no longer teenage “geeks” competing with each other to see who is the brightest. MalWare is now used by organized crime to steal personal information for a variety of purposes, including theft and bank fraud. MalWare can also turn unsuspecting households into platforms for devastating network attacks–attacks whose purpose is to deny service to a target by overwhelming its Internet connection with traffic from hundreds of computers.
How can we protect ourselves and our children from stumbling upon inappropriate content?
Many protection options are available, and several of the best are free.
When our two eldest children were old enough to use the computer, we quickly realized that simply having the family computer in an open area of the house wasn’t enough. It was too easy to mistype a web address–one of the favorite techniques the bad guys use to “lure” people to their content–and instantly be in one of the “bad neighborhoods”. We needed to be sure that when we weren’t watching over their shoulders that someone was monitoring what our children were doing online. We needed a technological guardian to assist us. Continue reading »