Sunday, March 28, 2010

Do family Internet security recommendations go too far?

MSN Lifestyle has its own page “Web Security 101” by Lori Telles, “A parents’ guide to Internet safety”, web link here.

It’s the pretty standard set of recommendations. But what keeps striking me is the need to remain privacy, and how dangerous security authorities believe it is for kids to let the public world know that they even exist – and possibly dangerous for their families, too. It’s as if fame were to be earned be competing the old-fashioned way.

It’s also striking to make recommendations about keeping the computer in a public area in the house. Older kids would have a legitimate need to use the Internet for homework or college applications. Can’t they be trusted to have a laptop or separate computer in their rooms when they are mature enough? Learning to use the Internet safely is like learning to drive a car.

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