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Blogging and Internet Safety: What Every Parent (and Child) Needs to Know North Canton City Schools Eric Curts, Technology Specialist

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Presentation on theme: "Blogging and Internet Safety: What Every Parent (and Child) Needs to Know North Canton City Schools Eric Curts, Technology Specialist"— Presentation transcript:

1 Blogging and Internet Safety: What Every Parent (and Child) Needs to Know North Canton City Schools Eric Curts, Technology Specialist Abridged Slide Show

2 Introduction Internet safety is a hot topic with: TV (Datelines To Catch a Predator series) Newspapers and magazines School staff Parents

3 Introduction – News Over the past four years, Cleveland's FBI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has arrested 86 men and one woman accused of arranging to have sex with minors. … about 80 percent of them traveled here from out of state. They've come from states such as Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, and even from Canada … Finding condoms, chains, whips and pulley systems in the predators' vehicles. The Akron Beacon Journal – July 10, 2006

4 Introduction – News A Connecticut man is being held in the Franklin County jail after he was found hiding in a West Side home, allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl he met over the Internet. The Columbus Dispatch – July 19, 2006

5 Introduction – News Strongsville - A 27-year-old Hudson man has been arrested on felony charges of attempting to solicit an undercover officer posing as a 12-year-old girl in an Internet chat room, authorities said. Sloan said the suspect had proposed going to a motel with the girl to have sex, escalating his advances by sending two still photos of his genitalia through computer e-mail. The Akron Beacon Journal – April 5, 2006

6 Introduction – News A University of Findlay computer systems manager … traveled to a home near Greenville, Ohio - about 100 miles southwest of Findlay - to meet a 15-year- old girl he had e-mailed. But "Sara," the teenager, was actually an undercover operative for Perverted Justice. E-mail contact was made at Web sites, including, and in chat rooms at and The Blade (Toledo) – March 31, 2006

7 Introduction – News Donald R. Lindstrom, 48, of Babbitt, Minn., was arrested Thursday afternoon in Jackson Township by the FBI Internet Task Force. Lindstrom was arrested at 4:36 p.m. Thursday at the Westfield Belden Village Mall food court and charged with importuning and interstate travel to have sex with a minor, said Rich Denholm of the FBI office in Mansfield. Police said Lindstrom believed he was talking to a 14- year-old girl on the Internet. Akron Beacon Journal – August 11, 2006

8 Introduction We will look at: Internet statistics Two major web technologies – blogging and chatting Potential dangers Internet predators How to be safe Additional resources

9 Statistics 63 million U.S. students between the ages of 2-17 are online today. ** 53% of students like being alone when surfing the Internet.* 41% of students do NOT share with their parents what they do and where they go on the Internet.* 31% of students feel it is easier to talk to people on the Internet than in real life.* 24% of students say they see nothing wrong with chatting with a stranger.* 10% of students have been asked by a stranger to meet somewhere face to face.* * i-SAFE America Student Assessments ** Nielsen/NetRatings 2004

10 What is a blog? Blog is short for Web Log A web page (or series of connected web pages) Created and maintained by an individual (anyone can make one for free) Contains chronological posts The posts contain whatever thoughts the author wants to share (often used as an online diary)

11 What is a blog? The posts can contain text, pictures, and web links The blog is visible to anyone on the Internet (unless password protected) Visitors to the blog can post their own comments as responses to the authors posts. Most blogs provide links to other blogs

12 What is a blog? Blogs are not good or bad. They are simply a tool that can be used appropriately or not. Sample good blog: ExampleExample Sample bad blog: See next slides for potential misuses of blogs

13 Dangers of blogs Although blogs are not necessarily good or bad, they do have great potential to be used very inappropriately Following is a list of potential dangers specific to blogs.

14 Dangers of blogs 1) Inappropriate Content – Even though blogs are viewable by the whole world, they look and feel like a personal journal. Because of this it is easy for a blogger to share things they normally would not. The following items have been seen on blogs of North Canton students…

15 Dangers of blogs Their full name Home address Phone number Birth date Age Detailed physical description Interests Likes and dislikes What school they attend What activities they are involved in Daily schedule What type of car they drive

16 Dangers of blogs Inappropriate comments about teachers and students (by name) Sexually-oriented comments Text from Instant Messaging Their I.M. name Pictures of: Themselves (sometimes provocative) Their house Their car Their friends Their activities

17 Dangers of blogs 2) Blogs are publicly accessible (unless password protected) – Anyone can read and see everything on your childs blog, including predators.

18 Dangers of blogs 3) Blogs are permanent – Everything your child posts to a blog will stay there forever (unless they delete it, and even then it may be stored elsewhere already). A predator can read through months or years of your childs blog at their leisure collecting all the information they want.

19 Dangers of blogs Additionally, employers and colleges can and do review blogs. Once something is posted on the Internet it may exist forever and come back to haunt you and your chances at jobs, admissions, and scholarships.

20 Dangers of blogs According to a recent survey from – One in four managers now Google potential employees and 51% of applications were rejected because of what was found.

21 Dangers of blogs Why were the candidates rejected? 31% - candidate lied about qualifications 25% - candidate had poor communication skills 24% - candidate was linked to criminal behavior 19% - candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee 19% - candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs 15% - candidate shared confidential information from previous employers 12% - candidate lied about an absence 11% - candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs 8% - candidates screen name was unprofessional

22 Dangers of blogs 4) Blog information can be prosecutable – Even though a blog looks like a personal journal, it is viewable for the world to see. Any statement in a blog can lead to consequences in the real world.

23 Chatting Whereas blogs are static text, chatting is live communication. Chatting can be: Text Voice Video

24 Chatting Common ways to chat include: AOL Instant Messenger (I.M.) Yahoo Messenger GMail Chat Google Talk Skype Video games (World of Warcraft, XBOX Live, etc.)

25 Chatting - Dangers The dangers of chatting are similar to blogging, but can be much more serious. Typically chatting comes later in a web relationship. Much more information can be attained through chatting. Much more influence can be applied.

26 Internet Predators Common techniques used Seek out provocative user names Study profiles to learn more Study blog entries to learn more Start with an innocent instant message Ask personal questions Invite to a private chat Ask for more personal information

27 Internet Predators Wants to be your best friend Starts sexual conversations Wants relationship to be kept secret Asks for personal photos Sends gifts Wants a face-to-face meeting Makes threats if you try to end the relationship

28 How to be Safe There are many things you and your children can do to be responsible and safe with blogging, chatting, and other Internet use. Remember, the Internet can be good!

29 How to be Safe Talk to your children Take time to speak with them about blogs and chatting in specific and Internet safety in general.

30 How to be Safe Keep your home computer visible It is wise to keep your home computer in a commonly shared area where you can check frequently on how it is being used

31 How to be Safe Install monitoring software Ex) Perfect Keylogger - Ex) WebWatcher -

32 How to be Safe Contact the blog host site to have a blog removed if: Your child has an inappropriate blog Someone else has a blog with inappropriate material about your child (text or pictures)

33 How to be Safe Encourage safe blogging and chatting Make sure your child does not share any personally identifying information Have them use a blog that can be password protected Visit their blog frequently

34 How to be Safe - Finding blogs There are several ways to search for a blog: 1. Begin with a known blog ring 2. Search on the blog host sites 3. Follow links on the friends lists 4. Do an advanced search with a search site, such as Google

35 How to be Safe - Finding blogs Common blog sites include:

36 How to be Safe - Finding blogs 1) Xanga has blog rings that group together similar blogs. Blog rings specific to North Canton include: Hoover HS - group.aspx?id=270802 group.aspx?id=270802 Hoover HS - group.aspx?id=318463 group.aspx?id=318463 Hoover Band - group.aspx?id=754185 group.aspx?id=754185

37 How to be Safe - Finding blogs 2) Or you can search on the blog hosting sites themselves. Xanga example: Go to Xanga – Type in the search box at the top Click Search

38 How to be Safe - Finding blogs My Space example: Go to My Space – Click the Search button at top. Type in any one of the search boxes. Click Search or Find.

39 How to be Safe - Finding blogs 3) Friend lists on blogs – Most blogs provide a place for the user to link to their friends blogs. Once you find one students blog, you can follow these links to get to the blogs of all their friends.

40 How to be Safe - Finding blogs 4) Advanced search through Google Go to Google – Click Advanced Search Type in search term(s) In the Domain box type in the blog site (,,, etc.) Click Google Search

41 Additional Resources Learn more about Internet Safety NetSmartz – I-Safe – CyberSmart – SafeKids – Safety Ed –

42 Additional Resources Learn more about Internet Safety Get Net Wise - Wired Safety - I Keep Safe - Dateline NBC Online Safety Kit -

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