Posts Tagged ‘Symantec’

It’s Not Spying on Your Children, It’s Called Parenting

June 26, 2012

If children are going to great pains to hide their online activity from their parents then it stand to reason that parents are well within their rights to monitor what their children are doing. Some will argue it’s spying, I believe it’s being responsible and looking out for the child’s welfare.

We would like to thing that our children make responsible decisions and are honest about their activities – but that is often not the case:

Parents can now use an array of tools to keep up with the digital lives of their children, raising new quandaries. Is surveillance the best way to protect children? Or should parents trust them to share if they are scared or bewildered by something online?

The answers are as varied as parents themselves. Still, the anxieties of parenting in the digital age have spawned a mini-industry, as start-ups and established companies market new tools to track where children go online, who they meet there and what they do. Because children are glued to smartphones, the technology can allow parents to track their physical whereabouts and even monitor their driving speed.

If, a few years ago, the emphasis was on blocking children from going to inappropriate sites on the family computer, today’s technologies promise to embed Mom and Dad — and occasionally Grandma — inside every device that children are using, and gather intelligence on them wherever they go.

A smartphone application alerts Dad if his son is texting while driving. An online service helps parents keep tabs on every chat, post and photo that floats across their children’s Facebook pages. And another scans the Web in case a child decides to try a new social network that the grown-ups have not even heard of yet.

Click here to read about a new free parental monitoring app.

The Worldwide Revolution Known as “Cyberbaiting”

November 23, 2011

It is no surprise to me that “setting-up” the classroom teacher has become a universal sport. With the introduction of the mobile phone and the high-profile cases of teachers being caught on camera and subsequently fired, it was only a matter of time before something like “cyberbaiting” took off.

A study from Symantec found that 21% of teachers had either been cyberbaited or knew a teacher who had.

Cyberbaiting, according to Symantec’s Internet safety advocate, Marian Merritt, is when students deliberately provoke a teacher into doing something stupid, then video it and post it online.  “This of course has the net effect of embarrassing the teacher, taking a momentary lapse of judgement in a classroom and embedding it onto the web.”

As per that 21%, remember it includes teachers who know someone it happened to. Only 4% said it happened to them. Still, it’s one more thing for teachers to think about.

The study — which included interviews from kids and parents in 24 countries including the United States — also found that 62% of kids reported that they have had a negative experience online.  It also found that 95% of parents know what their kids are looking at online.

A number of key points come to mind:

  1. Mobile phones should be banned from the classroom. Those playing with one in class should expect it to be confiscated and returned only when their parents come to pick it up personally.
  2. Students caught filming, posting or sharing secret tapings of a teacher should be expelled (at least for the more serious cases).
  3. Teachers should be given the appropriate support so that they are able to teach a class without doing or saying things which they would be ashamed of.

Somehow I expect that this nasty practice will continue without a hitch.  Yet another example of the modern-day culture of “teacher bashing” permeating in society.

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