Sunday, March 16, 2008

Keeping younger kids safe on the Internet


Protecting online watchwords is just as of import for children as it is for adults, 10-year-old Connor David Bruce of Danville recently told an Internet security advocate. If a impish friend acquires your password, he said, that friend could "send a love missive you didn't intend to send."

Kids are becoming Web-savvy at a little age, said Parry Aftab, executive manager director of the non-profit-making Her program, Adolescent Angels, and its new extension, Tween Angels, desires to build up these newbies with information about Internet safety and complaint them to go through on the message to friends and peers.

The hazards they confront differ from those grownups worry about but are still significant. Instead of emptying a depository financial institution account, a kid could access a friend's e-mail business relationship and direct bogus messages. Or, it could take to cyber bullying, an increasingly common menace for children and teens as they pass more than clip wall hanging out on the Internet, on their cell telephones and on synergistic games.

"You necessitate to set up them," Aftab said. "The clip to learn children about drive is before you give them the keys."

Started in 1999, the New Jersey-based program have amassed an regular army of about 640 Teen and Tween Angels from Last Frontier to Pakistan.

Connor, the fourth-grader, is one of the new recruits in the first functionary Northern Golden State chapter of Adolescent and Tween Angels. This month, he and more than than a twelve children, ages 7 to 12, gathered in Danville for the first portion of their training.

They learned, for example, about "stop, block and tell" and "take five": If a cyber tough directs a awful message, they should halt what they're doing and take a five-minute break, moving on to something else they bask doing.

They should also barricade the tough - for example, by removing the tough from their blink of an eye messaging brother list. And they should state a trusted adult. "If you respond, then they've won," said R. J. Mitchell Yep, a dimpled 10-year-old from Danville. "If you don't respond, then you won."

Over the adjacent respective months, these children will go on to larn about Internet safety, completing specific exercisings and producing research undertakings to gain their "wings." They also will get to do the units of ammunition in their communities, speaking at school assemblies and other meetings.

"Parents and instructors can acquire up and preach, but if they hear it from another kid, they will retrieve it," said Hilary DeCesare, a former Prophet gross sales manager, who along with Sherri Ribera is leading the Northern Golden State group.

The children also could get assisting law enforcement and offering feedback to Silicon Valley companies. In the past, Aftab said, participants have got helped companies such as as Walt Disney, Yokel and Microsoft, giving suggestions on their merchandises and services. One kid recently demonstrated to a Walt Walt Disney executive director how children beat on Baseball Club Penguin, a popular land site for preteenagers owned by Disney.

Much of the attending given to kids' Internet experiences have focused on making social-networking topographic points safer for teenagers, including January's formation of the Internet Safety Technical Undertaking Force, a grouping that includes Wired Safety, Facebook, MySpace, Microsoft, Yokel and Google.

But many of the same concerns now use to simple school children as they hop on land sites like Baseball Club Penguin, Webkinz and Disney's Toontown Online. In February, for example, more than than 4.7 million so-called tweens used Baseball Club Penguin, according to Nielsen Online, rivaling land sites such as as LinkedIn and

Staying safe on the Internet is something that hit place recently for the Yep family. Last month, they learned that a household friend's 13-year-old girl had committed suicide. Though no ground was given, the parents believe the Internet could have got played a role.

Asked why he decided to fall in Tween Angels, R. J. Mitchell said, "I desire to do the human race a topographic point with good thoughts and good choices." Sometimes, he added, "thoughts and picks take to bad ideas."

Internet safety

Among the land sites designed for tween safety are:




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