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  Important Security Measures for your Home, Family, and Business - 5

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Protecting Our Kids from Today's Online Cyber Bandits

             Protecting Kids is a lot like being in a lawless cyber territory
    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, it is
generally regarded as the most famous gunfight between law men
and "cowboy bandits" in the history of the wild west.       

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Article -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 being stopped.

    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 don’t 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 unlimited.

    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 through.

     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 secure.

    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 are…

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 effective.

We must 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 don’t know and trust online.
Communication 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.

It’s 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

Richard started his "Firewalls and Virus Protection" website, BLOG, and "Security Alert News Reporter" to help everyday Internet users navigate safely through the Cyber Space that has become a 'Cyber Jungle', loaded with ambushes and booby traps. He promotes his "Computer Security Awareness Campaign" thru his website at
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