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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World

Via Scoble, comes a link to Eric Mack on how to get your kids interested in computers.  My wife and I have recently been having this very conversation, as well as the follow-on one of how to protect them efficiently and effectively.  Of course, Scoble has other issues.  I think interest will be there if only because computers will be a big part of the household.  The parental interest in the kid's security online (and even offline) is very high.

My wife's concern goes beyond nasty pictures.  It is more along the lines of their exposure to unscrupulous types who would exploit them in a myriad of inventive ways.  The fear of them agreeing to an anonymous meeting after Internet exchanges (email, chat, IM, texting, whatever) is big.  How do you teach kids caution without overdoing it?

Our concerns include (in no particular order) social engineering, privacy, spam, adware, malware in general, viruses, personal information (full names, phone numbers, addresses, any account info, etc.).

I know I will fight spam on their (future) email accounts, will have to remove remove spyware and other nasty critters after they have visited children's sites, as well as making sure their logins are limited user accounts.  I know security, because I have been doing it and teaching it for years.  Security books are not what kids (and some adults) will want to read.  When I wanted a good resource that would help my family understand how to be aware of the threats and problems on the Internet, a co-worker recommended Dan Appleman's Always Use Protection: A Teen's Guide to Safe Computing.  He will be bringing the book to work for me to borrow.  I know it is early for my kids (the oldest is two), but I must assuage a concerned spouse.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:16 PM Programming , Personal | Back to top

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