Your kids are online; keep them safe!


Internet revolution has begun – Do you know where your kids are?

Online safety for kids should be a very big concern for parents everywhere in the world. There are millions of kids getting online these days for a number of reasons. They do not understand how dangerous the internet can be for them. It is every parent’s responsibility to know what kind of potential threats there are.

For most kids winter holidays are fast approaching, so now is a great time to inform your children about online safety. More time at home means more time on the computer and internet for many, and whether or not you have had a talk about online safety with them before, it is never a bad thing to cover the ground rules of staying safe in the online world.

I am not trying to suggest you to suffocate kids with rules and regulations; just tell them that with a few common-sense tips they will stay out of digital trouble (Not to mention keep their internet access privileges/rights intact). If you do not know where to start, TRY these TEN tips. While the tips below are by no means exhaustive, it provides a good starting point to use or modify to meet the needs of your children.

Talk to your kids about rules and expectations

Every home environment is different with regard to what is acceptable to view online and what is not. Be sure to let your kids know what the rules are so they can make good decisions for them. Online safety begins at home with a discussion.

Educate yourself and your children

Every generation has its own slang words. You had it, we have it, your kids have it and there is definitely a new way of talking when it comes to texting on mobile phones or chatting on the Internet.

With the rate at which technology changes, most parents left in the dark and do not have a clue about what their kids is doing. The most important things you can do are to know what your kids are doing, talk to them about online predators and what they can do with their personal information as well as educate yourself to help protect them.

Keep time limits

Limit your kids’ time online, just as you do with their TV viewing…  It is a good idea to set time limits for kids to be able to check their email, IM with friends, or update their Facebook or Twitter pages. A set time to go online for educational information, or for fun, can make a world of difference.

Check out your kids’ Social-Networking profiles

Do NOT be afraid to get up in their business. It is your responsibility to make sure that they are not getting themselves into digital trouble. Open your own social networking account on the same website where your kids are and let them know you are there and why you are doing all these things. STEP carefully, however, and keep in mind that you CANNOT monitor your children’s 24*7, and some kids may resent such monitoring.

TRUSTe Online Survey: About 80% of teens surveyed used privacy settings to hide their online contents from certain friends and their parents.

Verify browser settings and their browsing history

Setting up an appropriate surfing environment and time is especially important for younger kids, but even teenagers and adolescents can benefit from some added safety settings. Make sure that the security settings on your internet browser are not set too low, making it easier for malicious software aka malware to get onto your system. Also, make sure that the internet browser history is left intact, so that you can periodically monitor where your kids have been browsing.

Protecting privacy

So much of your kids’ online safety is in their hands every time they type anything on social networking sites or chat rooms. Make sure your children understand the importance of not sharing certain information, like their full name, name of the school or college they attend, home address, age or cell phone number with people they (or you) have never met F2F (Face-To Face) or IRL (In Real Life).

Check your kids’ privacy settings on Facebook or other social networking website. With just a single mouse click in your kids Facebook account, you can make sure that people they are not “friends” with cannot see their posts, education or any personal information. Ask your kids to refrain from posting photographs on social networking websites. Pictures of children may be targets for Cyber-stalkers and Social Networking Predators.

TRUSTe Online Survey: More than 1 out of 5 parents have previously blocked or restricted their kids’ use of social – networking websites due to privacy concerns.

No Face-to-Face meetings with strangers

If talking with online strangers is bad, meeting them Face-To-Face (in person) is even worse! Be clear with your children that no one will set up a meeting with strangers, child or adult, who they do not know already. Explain that online friends and strangers may not be who they are issued.

Don’t Reveal Too Much

If your child participates in chat rooms or tweets on Twitter, ask them to remember that they do not reveal  too much about their daily schedules, such as “After school I’ll be at cricket practice at the school ground”, or where they are if they are alone or will be alone.

Don’t take candy from strangers

Discuss the benefits and harmful effects of internet with your child. Teach your kids that not everything they read online may be true. Any offer that’s “too good to be true” probably is. Luring emails or private messages with alluring offers to make money or win exciting gifts are most probably a scammer’s bait. So tell them to stay away from fraudulent emails.

Install Parental Control Software

Take advantage of parental control features on your computer by restricting inappropriate content. Do not forget to inform your kids that you have done this. Tell them frankly that you are not spying on them – you are keeping them safe!

The online safety tips we have listed above are a good starting point for any family with kids who are mature enough to use computers, but they are by no means an exhaustive list. Keep an eye on your kids’ online life, see what is working and what is not, and stay involved.

If you think I have missed anything, or if you have something to share, please leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!


Two Koreas in Cyber Proxy War


Uriminzokkiri, a North Korea propaganda site, early this week blamed “South Korea’s extreme right-wingers” for a cyber attack that disrupted its website last weekend. The China-based site claimed the hackers were trying to stop its “influence from spreading.”

“They should stop acting recklessly and think carefully about a grave consequence that could be caused by their mean acts,” it warned.

On January 8, the day widely believed to be Kim Jong Eun’s birthday, pictures and messages that derided the Kim dynasty, were posted by hackers on the website as well as the related Twitter account. Meanwhile, a video clip making fun of the younger Kim was posted on YouTube., a Seoul-based internet website, claimed responsibility.

“Some of our users did that in retaliation for a DDOS (denial of service) attack on our site on January 6,” said Kim Yoo-sik, who runs the site. “It is unclear whether it was done by North Korea or a group of North Korea sympathizers inside South Korea.”

Right after the attack disabled his site for 30 minutes, he posted a statement on the front page that said “Jong Il, Jong Eun, Come out, Let’s fight!” in order to show “a strong willingness not to back down at least in cyber world.”

The site, with daily visitors of 1.3-1.5 million, started in 1999 as a small web forum for digital camera users, but now has more than 1,400 boards for free discussion on various topics from North Korea, politics, and entertainment.

Mr. Kim said he sees a change towards North Korea among site users. “Since the Yeongpyeong attack, people have become more fearful but also furious about what happened. They wanted to show their feelings through this cyber attack” (on the North Korea site), he said.

The North Korea site denied the accusation that it attacked, saying that while South Korean site was misleading public opinion, Uriminzokkiri is not a “childish” group that “invades other’s websites or does hacking for fun.”

Meanwhile, the four Tweets posted by hackers from the South Korean site are strangely still available at the time of writing. One of them says “Let’s kill senile Kim Jong Il and tyrannical offspring pig Kim Jong Eun with one stroke of our sword, so that we can eat rice and meat soup and live as happily as people in the South.”

- Wall Street Journal

File-sharing sites had 53 billion visitors in 2010


A controversial US study of 43 major file-sharing sites found they fielded more than 53 billion visits a year.

MarkMonitor, author of the study  drew a connection between file-sharing and piracy that raised the hackles of those named, one of which threatened retaliation through defamation action.

North America and Western Europe were fingered as the host locations for 67 percent of the largest digital piracy sites, based on traffic data from

The largest three file-sharing sites – RapidShare, Megavideo and – each generated more than 13 million daily visits on average, collectively generating more than 21 billion visits a year.

MarkMonitor acknowledged sites had takedown processes for disputed content but said they didn’t go far enough.

RapidShare’s terms of use state it will “immediately block such [illegal] contents after being notified of them and delete these files after an inspection phase of 14 days”.

The Swiss site last week won its action against a German court ruling that it took insufficient measures to stop the distribution of Atari’s Alone in the Dark PC game.

And RapidShare disputed MarkMonitor’s classifying it as a digital piracy site: “This defamation of RapidShare as a digital piracy site is absurd and we reserve the right to take legal action against MarkMonitor”.

“RapidShare is a legitimate company that offers its customers fast, simple and secure storage and management of large amounts of data via our servers,” it said.

Video community Megavideo’s terms of service prohibited users from submitting material that is “subject to third party proprietary rights … unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner”.

Megavideo was owned by Hong Kong company Megaupload, a file-sharing and hosting service that is the 68th most visited site in the world, according to Alexa.

Alexa ranked file-sharing site Pirate Bay 89th most trafficked in the world. Last year, three Pirate Bay founders were sentenced to four to 10 months in prison for copyright infringement.

MarkMonitor said it used patented technology to identify suspected counterfeit or piracy sites, before filtering those results and examining by hand more than 600 results to determine classification.


Google Now Warns Users about Hacked and Compromised Websites !!

Google Warning

With the number of websites, blogs and portals growing every day, there is an overwhelming amount of news everyday, talking about data theft and websites that have been invaded by hackers and crackers. The latest news of this kind was the invasion of the popular blog Gawker Media, which resulted in the exposure of entire database of Gawker Media’s web properties.

Sensitive information has been exposed, including staff conversations, their private passwords used within the network and passwords also used by people who have registered to comment.

Thinking of a way to make web-browsing safer for users, Google added a new notification to its search system that alerts users about sites that may have been hacked or modified by unauthorized users.

How the notification works

Sites that possibly have been hacked or had its contents changed by unauthorized persons will show the message "This Site May Be Compromised" (This site may have been compromised), which can be seen just below the title displayed in Google search.

Clicking on top of that message, the user is redirected to security page of Google, more precisely to an article in the Help Center that explains more about the notice.

Meanwhile, If user choose to click on results, he’ll be redirected to the desired page, as expected. In some cases, a small warning is displayed, which will highlight the risk of continuing to the user.

Advising Webmaster & Developers

The new security mechanism from the search engine giant Google brings a lot of benefits to the website owners and developers. According to the Google, they are doing their best to contact the site’s webmaster, that were detected as suspicious or compromised via their Webmaster Tools account or any other contact email addresses which can be find on the webpage.

pirate computer

Google also provided a link to help the inexperienced webmasters who does not know how to proceed in case of cyber-attacks. Instructions can be accessed through the Help Center or through this link.

Still a lot of work to do

There are still a lot of things which Google has to work on, shore up and improve. The new Google tracking/notification service is not yet 100% operational, but the company is working as quickly as possible to make the new service fully functional, providing more security for users and site owners.

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