You know the story
of the OK Corral - The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a battle that
has been portrayed in numerous Western films.
It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order,
open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where
law enforcement was often weak or simply nonexistent.
The gunfight happened at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October
26, 1881, in a vacant lot behind the corral in Tombstone, Arizona
Territory, United States. Some of the fighting was in Fremont Street
in front of the vacant lot. About 30 shots were fired in 30 seconds.
Although only three people were killed during the gunfight,
generally regarded as the most famous gunfight between law men
and "cowboy bandits" in the history of the wild west.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
-Protect Your Children's Identity
The internet has
sometimes been compared to the wild, wild west. Partly because in those early days of the frontier, the law was
in place to protect citizens of the land but in many cases, it was
hard to enforce and criminals ran free to defy laws without fear of
When it comes to protecting kids who go online, in a lot
of ways it is the 'wild west out there again in cyber space.
Are there laws on the books to protect our children from
being assaulted by internet criminals who would do them harm?
Of course there are. But enforcing those laws and catching
every bad person who your child might encounter in cyberspace is a
task that law enforcement is working hard to conquer. But they have
not conquered it yet.
So today's cyberspace is in many ways, an untamed frontier.
The cyber predators may not be as evident as were the "cowboys" who
were fairly popular in Tombstone, where the townsfolk were not
living in fear of them. Unfortunately, today's "cyber cowboys" hide
behind the anonymity of the Internet where they can't be seen.
While we dont want to go to the days of the wild west where
vigilantes roamed the land enforcing brutal justice on criminals, we
have to do something.
The stories we hear on television and read in the newspapers
about children being seduced and abducted right out from under the
noses of parents are deeply frightening.
This may be the most troubling thing about cyber criminals
who would harm our children. Because the internet is in our homes
and even now spreading to the phones and electronic devices of our
children, the access of strangers to our kids is virtually
Kids can get into chat rooms, use social networking services
like MySpace and view all kinds of filth online all while mom and
dad are just a few feet away watching the news.
The dangers which come with surfing and talking online can
usually be supervised at home. However, it's almost impossible if
you are the parent of a young teenager, to monitor what they are
doing while they are out with friends using their cell phones.
(See Cell Phone
Security for Teenagers )
Because of this unprecedented access, new strategies have to
be developed for law enforcement to protect our kids but also so we
can partner with them to stop these evil people who would use this
wonderful tool of the internet for evil purposes.
At a public level, we want to give our police and law enforcement
officials all the help we can to crack down on cyber stalkers so
the word goes out to such criminals that it is possible to be caught
stalking children and if you are caught, it will be a harsh penalty
for this kind of crime.
Some have even called for the death penalty for people who
stalk children online. How severe we as a society wish to treat
crimes of this nature is something for our leaders to help us work
But our first line of defense is enabling those we
trust to protect us to find and lock up these criminals so these
crimes can be stopped.
At this time, we cannot expect law enforcement to be able to
stop anyone from approaching our children online. So we as
parents share in the responsibility for protecting kids and making sure our homes are
Just as we put locks on the doors even though police are
there to stop intruders, we must secure the internet so the chances
of our kids becoming victims is minimized.
The 3 strongest locks we can use to protect our families online
|We can put
software on our computers that will
keep our kids out of web sites where these criminals may
lurk. These Net Nanny programs are inexpensive and
teach our children not to talk to strangers online any
more than they would in a public place.
Cyber stalkers are clever predators so we must be sure
our children understand the risk and do not engage
anyone they dont know and trust online.
||Keeping the lines of
communication open with our kids will assure that if
they suspect they are being
approached by a cyber stalker, they can come to their
parents who can then alert the authorities.
Its a shared effort to stop these criminals from having access
to our children. By working together with law enforcement and
keeping those lines of communication open with our own kids, we can
shut down their access to our children and frustrate their ability
to commit crimes against those we love the most.
... Richard Rossbauer