In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Kids Online: Where Are The Parents? 2. Today's Top Story - RIM Gets Sued—Again—As Mobile E-Mail Wars Rage On Related Stories: - Smarter Spam Could Mimic Friends' Mail - Wireless-N Could Stand For 'Not Interoperable' - High Education Tackles The Problem Of Wi-Fi Capacity 3. Breaking News - IE7 Search Box Fuels Google-Microsoft Rivalry - Researcher: Oracle Needs To Patch 44 More Bugs - AMD Reports Potential Heat Problem With Some Opteron Chips - 5 Reasons We're Not In A Tech Boom - Skype Introduces Speakerphone, PC-Less Wi-Fi Phone - Cheap Trick, Allman Brothers Suing Sony For Higher Digital Royalties - AirMagnet Rolls Out Voice-Over-Wi-Fi Analysis Tool - Wireless Vendors Tout Security, VoIP At Interop - How To Build A Data Vault With Hardware-Based Data Encryption - 11 Ways To Protect Your Network From Instant Messaging Risks - Cisco Overhauls Router Line To Improve VoIP, Security - Movie, Record Industries Target College LANs In Piracy Battle 4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web - The Web's Million-Dollar Typos (The Washington Post) - 'Hairy Guys' Join EU In Fighting Microsoft Appeal (International Herald Tribune) - Guidelines For Radio Tags Aim To Protect Buyer Privacy (The New York Times - reg. required) 5. In Depth: Kids Online - Beware Child Predators - Connected To Nowhere - Child Porn On Your Work PCs? It Can Happen - Online Safety For Kids A Thriving Business - Coalition Launched To Fight Child Pornography 6. Voice Of Authority - Is Wireless Affecting Our Health? 7. White Papers - Two-Factor Authentication 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows." -- Erma Bombeck
1. Editor's Note: Kids Online: Where Are The Parents?
The resounding message I kept hearing while reporting on one of the features in this week's edition of InformationWeek is that we parents are, by and large, abdicating our duty to our kids. If parents took a more proactive role, many of the problems kids are running into would be mitigated or stopped before they even began.
Unfortunately, too many parents have no real idea what their kids are doing online. Many adults are afraid of or freaked out by the technology and stay removed from the entire subject. On the other side of the coin are those of us who spend our lives with or around computers and just assume our kids are savvy because they've grown up around the technology. We make our living off, or with, computers—what could be bad?
Both scenarios can do a grave disservice to the children involved.
The experts I talked to, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators, understand that parents can't be looking over their kids' shoulders around-the-clock. But often we leave too much to chance or force the kids to figure out too much on their own. Sometimes it's difficult for parents to remember that, as sophisticated as today's generation is with and around anything electronic, they're still children. They don't have the maturity or the skills to know everything they need to in order to keep themselves safe. They need adult help and guidance even when they don't want to hear it. But too often we don't talk to them until after they've run into problems.
Ideally, we would talk to our kids before they become victims of cyberbullying, or post an inappropriate page on MySpace (one with personally identifying information or explicit photos, that is), or spend five hours each day online to the exclusion of any other activity.
You may think, as many adults do, that children are just fundamentally "wired" to push the limits. That pushing is, in fact, their job, and they're quite good at it—and it has ever been so. Some kids will just always find a way to get into trouble, as did generations before them and, hey, (insert good-humored chuckle here) we all lived to tell the tale. It's just part of growing up, right?
That may be true. But the big difference nowadays is that unlike sneaking off to smoke a filched cigarette or look through an "adult" magazine with the guys, kids online can get into very deep trouble, and they can do so very quickly. It can then escalate to the point of having "real-world" ramifications—kids who are threatened by schoolmates online may not want to go to school. Or they may become depressed, school grades start to suffer, and so on. Self-cutting, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, attempting suicide—all have been "side effects" of problems that started online.
Just as we wouldn't allow our kids to go into a physical situation where we don't know the players, or what we do know isn't good, we need to follow that same advice and exercise a wallop of good old-fashioned common sense when it comes to online matters, too.
What do you think? Have you dealt with these issues in your life, and how have they worked out? To read more, or to comment, please see my blog post.
Related Stories: Smarter Spam Could Mimic Friends' Mail The next-generation of spam-sending zombies might scan E-mail in the user's inbox, mine it for information and writing patterns, then crank out realistic-looking replies to real messages, researchers warn.
Wireless-N Could Stand For 'Not Interoperable' Hardware companies are racing to bring out wireless LAN equipment with far higher speeds and capacity. But consumers and businesses should be cautious: As the standard they're based on isn't yet official, early products may not be interoperable and could have performance problems.
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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
The Web's Million-Dollar Typos (The Washington Post) Google, which runs the largest ad network on the Internet, is making millions of dollars a year by filling otherwise unused Web sites with ads. In many instances, these ad-filled pages appear when users mistype an Internet address, such as "BistBuy.com." This new form of advertising has sparked a speculative frenzy of investment in domain names, pushing the value of some beyond the $1 million mark.
Child Porn On Your Work PCs? It Can Happen The Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that billion annually is spent on online child porn. Here's what to do if you suspect child porn on workplace PCs.
Online Safety For Kids A Thriving Business Companies are popping up or tweaking existing products to meet the growing demand for Internet safety. And at a major summit in June, nonprofit cyberwatch group WiredSafety will bring social Web sites like MySpace together with technology giants Google and Microsoft to develop ways to keep kids safe online.
Coalition Launched To Fight Child Pornography The Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography includes credit card companies, banks, and Internet companies that will work with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
6. Voice Of Authority
Is Wireless Affecting Our Health? All this time, Elena Malykhina says, she's been thinking that the cause of her tiredness and quick temper is work-related stress, the side effects of living in New York City, and lack of sleep. But it's possible that the actual culprit could be her home Wi-Fi network.
7. White Papers
Two-Factor Authentication Passwords are out. Two-factor authentication is in. If your organization has, or is getting, an application-layer SSL VPN for remote access, you need a strong and easily deployed two-factor authentication solution to secure your network from unauthorized access.
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