Monday, November 19, 2012

Internet Can be a Parents Worst Nightmare.

For children, the internet is the big enlarger. Whether it is information or entertainment, today's young people literally have their world at their fingertips. But there's a dark side, too, and it is alarming many parents - often not nearly as tech-savvy as their offspring - who don't know what to do.

Policing kids' books or even vetting friends is relatively easy compared to trying to keep track of their internet activities. The Fletcher group spoke to one parent with three children who said her household of five had 20 devices that could access the internet.

Parents' concerns mean that the pollies are getting worried, too. Anxiety about internet bullying and webcam spying is part of the wider concerns about protecting children.
In trying to come up with policy to guard children from internet risks, including exposure to inappropriate material, being groomed by paedophiles, and falling victim to bullies, the politicians are caught between demands they do something, the technical difficulties of grappling with a cyber amoeba, and the philosophical question of where the responsibility of government begins and ends.
Within the Coalition, there is some scepticism about how effective the internet policy can be. Cyber challenges were underlined recently when the government had to retreat from its long-proposed internet filter. While political agreement is easier when just children are involved, the other problems remain. But at least the political focus might better concentrate the attention of providers and give parents useful tips and points of contact for protecting their children.
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