Cyberethics For Our Kids

It is not that hard to hide behind the safety of our computer screens, but let us ensure our values and beliefs align with our deeds in the digital realm as well as in everyday life. We need to take a few moments to judge our online behaviors in terms of maintaining respect, kindness and dignity for yourself and the others. To put it simply, our kids need to understand the power and responsibility they have at their fingertips.

Consider the following six tips for raising cyber conscious children with strong cyberethics:

Start early. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Teach kids digital manners from the first time they log on as a toddler and build on that foundation as a child grows. Do not be afraid to include in your cyber lessons all you know about sexting, oversharing, cyberbullying, and more before a situation develops. A good rule to follow is “only share images or comments that you are comfortable with grandma or grandpa seeing”.

Words can hurt. We all know the quote, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Try to have a heart-to-heart conversation or use stories to make your children understand this essential point. In their young lives, almost every child has experienced cruel things directed at them and could draw from those incidents to appreciate the great power words have.

Empathy at a young age. Seek ways to encourage children to volunteer or pay it forward. This will give children a unique perspective into the lives of others and develop their compassion.  Set them a good example by performing the same things you expect from them, including a rule of always considering others’ feelings before you act.

Credit intellectual property. Avoid a bunch of problems with a basic lesson or two in referencing. Teach them not to still but give courtesy to authors of any picture, video or quote them post online. It takes only second to add a couple of words, but it might take years for someone forgiving your liberty with other people’s ideas and any kind of intellectual property.

Create a technology contract.  Make a list where you clearly outline cyber behaviors that are acceptable and the consequences if the agreement is breached. This sort of contract with your children will help them realise how serious this is and allow everyone be on the same page on understanding the basics of cyberethics.

-based on TeenSafe publication

Online Communications: What Parents Need to Learn

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Fast developing Internet technologies give its user the spectrum of communication modes with most of them requiring no special advanced computer skills. Some parents may find themselves overwhelmed by the number of online activities their children have these days that is why we begin our enlightenment for the most popular types of communication on world wide web (it is not only emailing, you know).

  • Chat allows to exchange messages in writing in real time between the group of two or more;
  • Instant messaging allows private messaging in real time;
  • Message board Made for discussions in writing, unites users generally based on mutual interest like music, sports, etc. Allows extended posts, embedded pictures and videos. Messaging can also be done in real time;
  • Blog Online alternative to the public diary with entries on whatever authors find interesting and ready to share. Allows comments for the close circle of friends or anyone reading the blog (depending on custom settings);
  • Microblog Design to make fast entries (up to 200 symbols) accompanied by pictures, news comments, links to other webpages. The followers of such microblog receive instant alert that the new publication is made so they can react/comment;
  • Social network Allows to share personal info and make “friends” online by browsing the content and communicating both by commenting other people’s posts or PM (personal messages). Most popular among teenagers since allows them to share pictures, videos, links with the entire circle of online acquaintances and even play games online. The problem of openly exchange of private data and potential risks of using them with malicious intent is becoming more urging by a day. Considering that it is better to teach your child save more to themselves during a conversation online and keep yourselves as anonymous as possible. Almost every registration for online suggest providing personal data such as name, date of birth, home address, mobile number, etc. Ask your child to be cautious about it and when it is impossible to avoid registration the real data might be replaced with imagined one. Such information as first name and age can be specified since it does not give away your child’s identity.                                                                                                             With that in mind as an option try to convince your child that their better use a pen-name. They can choose among their favourite comics superheroes or even invent a special fantasy name on their own – what a fun way to “play”! But do not forget to explain that appearing under other name does not give you the right to insult other users or treat them badly. Online etiquette woks just like non-virtual one.      However, Internet communication has its unique specifics your child should be aware of. Unlike real life conversations there are no face of the partner in conversation to be seen so no one could be trusted without come precaution. Even on social networks where most of users have their own profile pictures instead of avatars and share personal info about themselves you cannot be 100% sure that the same face you see belongs to the same person posting on this page. This trick or hiding behind someone else’s identity is widely common among online predators who have a perfect way of draw a veil over their dark intentions and even get away with a crime. They obtain the necessary information about their potential victim, start an innocent conversation with a child, pretend to be of the same age and interests, try to become their friend luring them into a trap, and only after arranging a meeting in the real world they make a harassment.

You know you are on the right track as a caring parent if you are actively involved with your child’s online activity and get yourself educated in the new tendencies to keep up with your little one at any time. And remember – Safe Lagoon is always ready to give a helping hand!

Interesting facts about Social Networks and they way they affects us

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General information

  1. 1 million links are shared via Facebook every 20 minutes.
  2. 5 million users are invited to an event on Facebook every hour.
  3. 100 000 people become friends on Facebook every minute.
  4. Half of all users spend 1-5 hours a week chatting and posting on social networks.
  5. 8 people worldwide join an existing social network every second.
  6. Facebook can be considered the world’s third country by the number on people living in it (around 1 bln), surpassed by China and India only.
  7. 50% people aged under 30 are members of at least one social network.
  8. An average user signs in their account twice a day.
  9. An average number of “friends” to a user equals 195 people.
  10. There are 200,000,000 blogs online.
  11. 80% people confide in their online friends more than their real ones.
  12. More than 90% people born in XXI century have accounts on social networks.
  13. Below is the list of the most popular social networks in some countries::
  • USA — Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin
  • United Kingdom — Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin
  • Germany — Facebook, Twitter, Xing
  • Russia — Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook

 

Threats found on Social Networks

  1. Statistics shows, that sexual harassments has grown 26 times with introduction of social networks..
  2. About 100 users each year pay with the lives because of the message they left on social networks.
  3. The 2011 data in UK revealed that 4 out of 5 robbers used social networks to prepare for their crime.
  4. Scientists consider social networks being one of the factors compromising human immunity system.
  5. Social networks are already in advance of pornography as the most popular way of online activity.
  6. Around 15% of social network accounts are made for spying purposes, most notably by secret services .
  7. Social networks can press vulnerably people close to suicide as they become more detached from reality and their usual circle of contacts.
  8. It has been revealed that most of the popular social services still keep pictures deleted by users.
  9. Facebook managed to reach 200 million users mark in less than a year, while for television it took long 13 years to attract 60 million viewers.

Social Networks and Families

  1. Approximately 10% of marriages in USA would never existed if not for social networks.
  2. Every fifth couple becomes an item via social networks.
  3. 69% parents are on their children’s list of friends.
  4. 1/5 children spent 24 hours a week browsing social networks. Half of all kids are about to reach this mark.
  5. 80% of children are registered with at least one social network.
  6. 80% of parents believe they are aware of what their kids are doing online while 31% of children are sure their activities are undiscovered.
  7. The average age of becoming an independent social network user is now 10.
  8. The following percentage show how many hours a week children spend on social networks: 7-14 hours — 23% , 14-12 hours— 57% , more than 21 hours — 20%.

– Safe Lagoon Team

 

Everything a Parent Needs to Know About PERISCOPE

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Last February, in Ohio, a 17-year-old was raped and assaulted by a man she had only met the day before. How did authorities find out? The rape was streamed online via periscope by her best friend and high school classmate. Now, the friend Maria Lonina, 18, and the accused Raymond Gates, 29, are facing the same charges of kidnapping, sexualt assault, and rape.

The question is was Lonina recording her friend’s attack as a cry for help or for attention on social media? Prosecutors believe the latter.

So What Is Periscope, Exactly?

Periscope works in conjunction with Twitter, which purchased the app in 2015. Users can broadcast live — with no filter or delay — to their followers using only a smartphone. The app lets users stream both audio and video to their audience for an interactive experience that includes feedback and comments. Audiences can not only interact, but watch and replay the video up to 24 hours after the broadcast ends.

Since it is linked to Twitter, live broadcasts are supplemented with social sharing. The app is also designed for mobility, meaning users can spontaneously go live with on-the-go broadcasts that include the broadcaster’s location. It could provide a platform for public speakers to showcase their skills or enable users to share first-hand experiences as they happen, from a neighborhood block party to a fish being reeled in by an angler on a river.

The app’s website shows scenes of hot air balloonists broadcasting live from the sky to friends back home, civilians broadcasting the aftermath of a disaster to their concerned followers and tourists visiting a city for the first time.

All those scenarios are certainly possible with this amazing, ingenuitive application — but it is also possible that teens could misuse its power to send out a live, public video broadcast that they can never take back.

Periscope has only existed since March 2015, but the statiatics tell the story of an app that is taking off, especially in the last few months:

  • There are 10 million registered Periscope users.
  • 1.85 million people use Periscope every day.
  • Users stream 350,000 hours of video daily.
  • Viewers watch 40 years worth of video every single day.
  • Periscope dominates the critical 16-24 age demographic                                                                                                                                                                                                            Today’s teens are accustomed to broadcasting their lives on social media. Periscope, however, can turn their bedrooms into studios. Regular social posts can be edited or deleted, but when it comes to live broadcasts, there are no second takes.  Among the other dangers the investigation uncovered were:
    • The potential for real-time cyberbullying.
    • Sexual harassment, requests for teens to stream inappropriate broadcasts and inappropriate broadcasts being streamed to teens.
    • The potential for viewers to uncover the broadcaster’s personal information, such as username or Twitter account.
    • Location services reveal your teen’s physical location. Once the user’s location was identified, the news investigation plugged that information into a free website that allowed them to track the user’s exact location, giving them location updates every time the broadcaster posted something on social media. Even more troubling is that the location marks are timestamped, leaving a “trail of breadcrumbs” to identify the user’s exact movements, allowing the tracker to follow the user’s physical movements as they go.

What parents need to know

Live-streaming apps like Periscope pose an elevated danger because they combine real-time broadcasting, comment-based interaction and the potential to determine physical location. Periscope’s guidelines urge users to “not show graphic material,” but essentially, anyone can broadcast anything, whether it’s a virtual lap dance or a real-time ice cream truck burglary.

While Periscope is a relatively new app, there are some established guidelines that parents can follow:

  • Get your own Periscope account so you can see what your teen is doing and act as a personal moderator.
  • Turn OFF location services — this is a good idea for all social media accounts.
  • Instruct your teen to be aware of their surroundings and never to broadcast potential location markers, such as their school or home address in the background.

Periscope is a remarkable, innovative app with a powerful potential for both good and bad. Like everything surrounding your teen’s online activity and social personas, the best recipe for keeping them safe is dialogue, honesty and technology.

Monitor your teen’s activity on Periscope, but explain why you’re monitoring — that even if you trust them, you don’t trust the Internet. If teens are breaking into ice cream trucks, they’re likely going to get into trouble anyway. With Periscope, however, an otherwise perfect kid can face a lifetime of regret from one lapse in judgement and one live broadcast.

– Safe Lagoon Team

Which online behavior your child is hiding from you?

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According to the recent studies, the time kids spend surfing the Internet nowadays surpasses their parent’s online activities. The numbers show that half of all network users are children aged 8-13. More of them start using their portable devices (such as smartphones and tablets) to go online by each day. If 5-10 years ago the only thing they could use to access the network was their desktop home PC – now Wi-Fi connection is available as almost at every street café.  The most popular activities for children online are found to be search engines, social networks and gaming.

But highly advanced computer technologies brought not only the good, but a source of trouble as well – some people may use Internet to get advantage of your kids. Many parent (65%) tend to think that their children spend hours on the net only for the benefit of doing the homework. While from a kid’s perspective the knowledge Internet can give is not that important as downloading music/video, emailing, chatting and other fun-related activities.  ¾ of all kids say that they are online to chat with friends and start new relationships while 15% claim that after some time in virtuality, they are eager to meet their new acquaintances in real life.

The studies produced the following fascinating statistics:

  • 49% of children who go online frequently have been harassed at least once in their virtual experiences, with 13% of children receiving such sexually inappropriate messages on a regular basis. Other cases find the offenders among Internet uses who send nasty emails to their chosen “victim” (trolling, cyber-bullying);
  • 19% of the surveyed have met their online acquaintances, 12% of they gone to such meetings on their own, 8% have not bring this to anyone’s knowledge.
  • 23% of children have seldom visited porn sites, 11% more are doing it regularly, 48% of kids have browsed web pages showing violence, 18% are familiar with racist content,  31% are chatting about sex while 61% of children are tend to access internet alone, without asking any permission from their parents.

More than that, many parents seem to be blissfully unaware of the fact their child could face pop-up pornography screens simply browsing through pages with free music/video downloads. It is not the only problem – we all know that teens are obsessed with chatting on various message boards where users can easily hide behind avatars. How to make sure the real encounter with a virtual “friend” is safe enough for our children?

Their curiosity can lead much further than we would want to – online world is full of vandalism, racism, sex, violence and suicidal references either of which may cause the actions on behalf of your child that could damage his physical and mental health.

Nowadays the huge amount of web pages, emails and file-sharing programs offer the opportunity to download music, film and files free of charge. Even though they may seem harmless the frightening percentage of such “offers” are packed with dangerous viruses and over malicious software that can ruin your PC’s safety and hack confidential data.

Any precocious methods are far less complicated and expensive than dealing with unwanted consequences so start protecting your child only today with Safe Lagoon.

– Safe Lagoon Team