For Kids, the Internet Can Be a Dark and Dangerous Place

Dear Mr. Dad: My 9-year old son is pretty computer savvy and my wife and I haven’t had much issue with letting him use the computer on his own. He likes to play games, visit a few sites, and read online comics. I’ve been hearing more and more about the threats on the Internet, and both my wife and I are becoming more concerned that we might be letting our son put himself in some dangerous situations without knowing it. What can we do to make sure he stays safe while he’s online?

A: You’re right to be worried. The Internet is filled with tons of information (some of which is actually accurate), and all sorts of things to improve our lives. But as hard as it is to imagine life without the Internet, we sometimes forget that it can be an incredibly dangerous place, home to any number of threats, from identity thieves to viruses and pedophiles. You wouldn’t let your child go outside alone without a firm understanding of basic safety rules (don’t talk to strangers, look both ways before you cross the street, etc.), right? So why would you let him go online without having similar boundaries in place?

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Empty Nest Road Trip + Digital Privacy under Attack

[amazon asin=B00AB0XRCW&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 1: Bruce Sallan, author of The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues .
Topic: Taking a child to college—from the dad’s point of view.
Issues: An 8-day, 3000-mile father-son trip to talk about life, the future, and the past.


[amazon asin=1588168581&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 2: Davin Coburn, author of Who’s Spying on You?.
Topic: The looming threat to your privacy, identity, and family in the digital age.
Issues: How to prevent every move from being tracked on your smartphone; which phones offer the most protection; how avoiding EZpass, Zigbee wireless devices , and Android phones can help protect privacy; how to keep medical and pharmaceutical records private and avoid identity theft; warning signs of hacking or compromised security.

The Terms of Motherhood + Child ID Theft

[amazon asin=B007PM0BNW&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Kristin van Ogtrop, author of Let Me Lie Down.
Topic: Necessary terms for the half-insane working mom.
Issues: Terms and concepts that illustrate the highs, and the lows of balancing work and family.


[amazon asin=1936984113&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Joe Mason, author of Bankrupt at Birth.
Topic: Why child ID theft is on the rise and how it’s happening right under our noses.
Issues: Who, exactly, is perpetrating child id theft and why they do it; the most common forms of ID theft and how you can tell if your child is a victim; how to proect your child’s social security number; the role of social media in ID theft.

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