News Digest, September 2015

News Digest, September 2015

Online Harmony: A Shared Responsibility

We’ve all become accustomed to the convenience and ease with which we connect to the Internet; to order food, link up with friends, get directions, research a product, post a selfie and even pay for coffee. It is a part of our social fabric, our culture and an important part of our kids’ education. As President Obama recently said, “The Internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” With this in mind, we all need to take responsibility for creating a safe and welcoming online environment for everyone. Part of being a good citizen is being a good digital citizen. What does that take? Who is responsible? How can you help? Here are some suggestions for what you can do to make cyberspace a place for the whole family, and our extended community, to enjoy.

Denise Lisi DeRosa,

It’s not just kids who need online privacy boundaries

Look at that five-year-old in the rolled-up chinos and straw boater. I mean, isn’t he adorable? To post or not to post – that is the conundrum. Back-to-school is the perfect time to talk about setting privacy boundaries for techobsessed kids, but what about their social media-maven parents? In the past decade, a generation of parenting bloggers has grappled with the question of how much online information-sharing about their kids – both the details of their daily lives and how they look in those moments – is too much. How much of their lives belong to parents to share? And more, are kids entitled to a piece of the profits when their cute-as-heck mug is used to hock a brand-building parent’s lifestyle?


Track your kids online: police

You’re a busy parent with laundry to do, supper to make, housework to be completed, plus a demanding full-time job. RNC Const. Terry Follett of the CFSEU Internet Child Exploitation unit says it’s imperative that parents know what they’re children are doing online. During such hectic times, parents are often reassured their kids are OK if they’re in their room on the computer.

Joe Gibbons, The Telegram

Sextortion’ is a growing problem online targeting kids for explicit photos and videos

Sextortion is a growing online crime targeting kids and teens for explicit photos and videos. CU-Boulder Police warned students on Tuesday about an international scam after two male students reported being victims of “sextortion.” In that case, a woman calling herself Queenie Lee threatened to post inappropriate photos taken during a Skype conversation if the students didn’t wire hundreds of dollars.

Jennifer Kovaleski,

Victoria Police Looking for More Victims After Online Child Predator Arrested

The Victoria Police Department Special Victims Unit (SVU) is warning parents to speak to their children about staying safe online after the attempted luring of a 13-year-old girl. According to police, 28-year-old Victoria resident Aaron Craig is facing 13 charges after attempting to lure underage girls online. So far, police have confirmed five victims ranging in age from 12 to 17 years of age, but add that none were physically harmed.

Anita Sthankiya, KelownaNow

Kids use ‘secret apps’ to hide photos, videos and files

You don’t need to be a parent or grandparent to know that the Internet gives kids access to information you wouldn’t have dreamed of looking at when you were a kid. Kids also get really, really tricky when they want something, and technology makes it even easier for them. When you were young, and were up to no good, your parents just had to secretly listen in on one of your telephone calls. As long as they didn’t blow their cover by breathing too loudly, your parents could keep tabs on who you were talking to, and what you were up to. Not so today.

Kevin Downey,

What social media is doing to our kids and how to turn back the tide of insecurities

BETWEEN Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Vine, Tumbler and YouTube, our children have never been so connected. Nor, according to the following statistics, have they been so self-involved. Today, for example, your child will log on to Facebook and join the other 986 million daily active users ‘‘liking’’ and commenting on others’ lives or laying theirs bare for critique. He or she will upload the five selfies taken on the Westfield escalators this afternoon, putting Google’s daily selfie estimate at a total of 93 million and five. Your child will browse feeds such as the wildly popular Rich Kids of Instagram, which has now become the top photography site of choice for 12-year-olds (despite the 13+ age restriction). And in a world where seeing is believing, this week alone your child will lay their eyes upon about 5000 photoshopped images.

The Daily Telegraph

Internet addiction leading to psychological disorders: Experts

Do you check updates on social networking sites when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night? Do you frequently check your phone to see if you missed any alert of chat on WhatsApp? Do you prefer chatting with friends for long hours to calling them or meeting them? Do you prefer re-reading chat conversations to reading books or newspapers? If your answer to the above questions is in affirmative, chances are that you are suffering from an addiction to social networking sites.

Nikhila Pant Dhawan, Tribune News Service

Why I’m happy for my pre-teen kids to be on social media

Should we support proposals for an age-verification system to prevent children using social media, or trust parents to teach their children common sense?

Harry Wallop, The Telegraph

Mandatory South Korean parental control app is a security nightmare

Back in April, South Korea required that wireless carriers install parental control apps on kids’ phones to prevent young ones from seeing naughty content. It sounded wise to officials at the time, but it now looks like that cure is worse than the disease. Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab have discovered 26 security holes in Smart Sheriff, the most popular of these mandatory parental apps. The software has weak authentication, sends a lot of data without encryption and relies on servers using outdated, vulnerable code. It wouldn’t be hard for an intruder to hijack the parent’s account, intercept communications or even scoop up the kids’ personal details. The worst part? Some of these vulnerabilities apply on a large scale, so a particularly sinister attacker could compromise hundreds of thousands of phones at once.

Yudha Manggala Putri, TreeAngle