Big Mother is watching you
New softwre lets parents secretly check every computer keystroke their children make. Do the perils of the internet justify such spying or will it ruin the relationship with your child?
There is clearly consumer demand for products that monitor the virtual world of kids. There are filters (which block out porn, spam, whatever) called CYBERsitter, Net Nanny, CyberPatrol and CyberSnoop, and also monitors, like the Internet BabySitter, which record everything. There are also loads of websites that tell families and Children how to use the internet safely.
Personally, I put faith in my children and trust them. For the younger ones, i.e. the 10 years old I forbid him to get on forums, chats and even emails. He uses my desktop and laptop to play games online. Even that, I do watch as the desktop is in the living room and should I see any violent games, i.e. some sickly game of using a knife to stab a hand, I would totally forbid him from accessing the site again. Parents ought to know that there are many online games which attract children on the exterior but they have some foreboding inner feel.
For the older two, I do not even want to know what they surf and will never check on their histories, cookies and temp files eventhough I am much more tech savvy than them. It is a matter of trust and respect. We openly talk about porn, how they can be lured into vice, gay relationships, pedophile and stuffs like these.
As I run a forum myself, I make sure that my sons know the respects they should treat the forum and not be a nuisance eventhough it is the norm for teenagers to use foul languages and hit the forum for no reasons. They are free to chat and emails. Our home is has an open door policy and hence, no one locks themself in the room doing stuffs. They have their own PC and I do pop in to borrow from them, once in a while.
So, the best way for parents to keep an eye on their children in the cyberworld is to keep up with times, know what they are doing and trust them. A child treated with respect and attention will be unlikely to do things that can hurt themselves and us, parents.
Therefore, there will be no Big Mother in my house. I am big enough. As I told my children whenever they asked me, “How do you know that (to something they thought I am unaware)”, Next to God, I am as powerful. Hahahaha.
Originally posted 2006-05-30 13:34:34.