Electronic access to online media is constantly changing. New technologies bring unique and unprecedented dangers and risks to children. The Holy Bible says: “Wisdom is for a protection as money is for a protection (Ecclesiastes 7:12) – “You can get anything with wisdom or with money, but being wise has many advantages.” Help for children to be wise as well as understand how to avoid the dangers of surfing online is imperative.
The Internet should not be a tool to threaten and endanger the safety of anyone, least of all… children. Have a basic understanding of how the Internet works and the use of instant messaging, browsing web pages or participating in other online activities; do not certify that one is too old or uneducated to learn. Children who have access to the Internet need adult supervision. Parents really need to keep up with internet trends and technology. Parents should remember: Many young people gain access to the cloud through cell phones, game consoles, and other portable devices.
Young people are taught how to drive a car safely. Parents can take a similar approach with Internet use. One cannot forever restrict their children from operating a motor vehicle, but they can restrict their access to and use of the Internet. Although both of these activities are dangerous, monitoring a child’s use of the Internet while informing them that you are doing so is not an invasion of their space or an invasion of privacy: the World Wide Web is a public forum. In the United States, the FBI constantly reminds parents to keep or their children’s access to online accounts, contacts, and email on a random basis. A UK cloud study has revealed that “Nearly 1 in 7 young people between the ages of 8 and 20 have internet access in their bedroom. Many children’s study and advocacy enthusiasts advise parents to keep the computer in a busy area of the home.This practice can help monitor Internet activity and can encourage children to avoid unwanted websites.
Decisions involving children’s Internet use, the amount of time, and the sites they can and cannot visit could provide core guidance and a firm understanding of the risks and dangers of the cloud.
The IIOF (International Institute of Health) launched tracking the health of more than 100,000 American children from birth to age 21 in 2009. This study has been collecting data using a wide variety of tools. The study staff used some 8,000 tablet PCs intended to securely transmit data to the central coordinating center via VPN (Virtual Private Network). This data will be stored in Oracle and SQL Server silos. “The size of the core database is likely to be many terabytes,” says Sarah Keim, deputy director of operations and logistics for the studio, in an interview with Information Week magazine, as reported by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee.
The values taught -and the examples set- will go much further in protecting children with access to the Cloud. Monitoring and tracking will only go so far. An open line of communication with children is the best line of defense against the ravages of the Internet. Explaining the dangers of “bad” people and defining porn are several reasons why you should never communicate with strangers.
Internet software and program controls are not foolproof. Many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) may offer parental controls that act as “guardrails” (Ruby on Rails Abbreviated as RoR, Ruby on Rails (also known as Rails) is an open source web application framework, written in Ruby ( object-oriented) (programming language), for developing database-backed web applications. RoR closely follows the Model-View-Control (MVC) pattern, where models, views, and controllers are completely seamlessly integrated) attempts to block inappropriate “pop-ups” and access to harmful sites. Several other software programs also prevent children from giving out personal information, ie names and addresses.
“IIOF study teams collect and analyze genetic, biological, and environmental samples from children of all racial groups, income and education levels, and locations,” says McGee. “The IT architecture must support about 1,000 federal investigators and staff in more than 100 locations. It must meet federal data security and management standards, but it must be reasonably easy to use,” says Keim.
VPN and .NET applications are being used for the study project. Westat’s Best-or-Breed Application Modules serve as a research focal point, along with a variety of other vendors, namely Booz Allen Hamilton and IMS Integrator.
The reality, of course, is that you cannot monitor children when they are away from home. Therefore, it is important to install proper values in children so that they make sound decisions when they are not in the presence of adult supervision, governing adults must clearly explain what the consequences will be if the rules are broken regarding the Cloud. If violated, the application of the rules, sanctions and restrictions will be implemented.
Until next time…