Tag Archives: FBI

“The Internet should not be a Babysitter”

On Wednesday April 23, MOREnet hosted its Internet Safety Night.  Sites all over the US connected to this important program- including several St. Louis, MO!  The excellent keynote speaker was James Finch, Assistant Director, FBI Cyber Division.

Finch admitted first thing that at the FBI there was no bigger advocate of technology, including the Internet, than him. He also added he is the parent of three- two daughters in their twenties and a four year old son. All are on line.

Some facts:
+ The United States has highest rate of “computer intrusions” – hacking
+ The FBI has the Innocent Images National Initiative – where undercover agents work to bring on line predators to justice: http://www.fbi.gov/innocent.htm

Finch emphasized “the Internet has changed our lives for the positive and it still holds so much promise… I want to heighten awareness.”

How do we heighten awareness?

It is important to talk to your children about the Internet, as you do when they learn to swim, learn to drive, etc. As Finch noted, “the Internet should not be a babysitter” – it will not take care of itself when it comes to the safety of children.

You must have an Internet Safety talk with your kids.
Here are Finch’s talking points:

+use strong passwords, don’t share passwords!
+maintain your operating system- download updates/patches because they fix programming flaws that become security vulnerabilities
+anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-phishing programs important
+use parental control software (emphasize it is out of concern, not to police them)
+make sure wireless router is configured properly
+change your network name
+using encryption features on wireless routers important
+decide which computers are allowed on your network using MAC filtering list- the unique address for your network card
+set this rule: no Internet after 9 pm  (Internet access policy)
+talk about Internet chats, social networking sites, peer to peer networks, and e-mail
+ask who is on your child’s buddy list
+emphasize once you hit “send,” you can’t get it back!
+let your kids know you will be reviewing their computer time to time

A note: this is NOT a one time only talk. According to Finch, “Internet Safety is not easy, it is not quick, but it is not rocket science, either.”

There are many Internet Safety resources at http://besafe.more.net/isn.
Another website Finch spoke about was www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.

Finch’s keynote was followed-up by a panel of experts who discussed issues like identity theft, spam, legal issues, how to monitor your kids while they are on the computer, and on line predators. Missed it? In St. Louis, Charter Communications will air the program soon. ISN programs will also be available on line: http://besafe.more.net/isn/.

MOREnet Internet Safety Night in April

Internet Safety Night is a nationwide videoconference event that brings information and resources to students, parents and members of the community to help us all stay safer online. We talk about online predators, cyber-bullying, identity theft and other Internet-related issues. The goal is for communities to pull together local experts and resources — students, parents, teachers, law enforcement and community members — to begin a discussion about the importance of Internet safety. These local discussions, occurring simultaneously all around the country, then connect to the national host site in Columbia, Mo. for the featured speakers and other resources and tools that families can use to stay safe. Participants at any of the local events can see, hear, ask and answer questions in real time with participants at any of the other sites across the US!

In St. Louis, Cooperating School Districts will be a participating site April 23.  The videoconference will be 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the large conference room at 1460 Craig Rd. Community members are welcome, but please RSVP to Rebecca Morrison by April 18 if you’d like to attend (at CSD).

Event Details:

Keynote Speaker: James Finch Assistant Director, Cyber Division- Federal Bureau of Investigation

6:30 — Welcome
6:45 — Featured speaker
7:30 — Break
7:35 — Interactive panel discussion

Take a moment to visit the BeSafe website there are many resources linked to the website that can help you and your children. You can also check out last October’s Internet Safety Night by clicking here.