Feeds

Kids more likely to be bullied than pestered online

Web dangers mirror real-life dangers? Whodathunkit?

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Research paid for by US state attorneys general has found the dangers of life online for US kids are pretty much the same as those they face in real life - and that the solutions are better parenting and education rather than technological silver bullets.

The final report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, available here, found that the greatest danger faced by kids was bullying and harrassment. It spent almost a year looking at online child safety particularly regarding use of social networks like Bebo and Facebook.

The Task Force said sexual predation of minors by adults remains a concern, but: "Youth report sexual solicitation of minors by minors more frequently, but these incidents, too, are understudied, underreported to law enforcement and not part of most conversations about online safety." The report noted that most research on internet related child exploitation pre-dates the rise of social networks.

On the subject of problematic or illegal content the report said: "Unwanted exposure to pornography does occur online, but those most likely to be exposed are those seeking it out, such as older male minors."

It found that social networks were not the most common place for dodgy content but were frequently used for bullying - because they reinforce and reflect existing social relationships.

It reviewed 40 types of technology aimed at reducing issues of child safety but found none entirely satisfactory.

The Task Force was cautious of the likelihood of a technology solution to these problems.

Technology can play a helpful role, but there is no one technological solution or specific combination of technological solutions to the problem of online safety for minors. Instead, a combination of technologies, in concert with parental oversight, education, social services, law enforcement, and sound policies by social network sites and service providers may assist in addressing specific problems that minors face online.

The group called for better funding for schools and libraries to provide online safety education, and research into exactly what risks children run online and on the use of new technologies by registered sex offenders. Finally it recommended that parents and caregivers educate themselves about the internet and how their kids are using it, and be engaged with their child's internet use. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.