Cyber safety

Cyber safety

Today the Internet has become part of our lives. It has also created a few new words – when we want to know about something, we say “google it”……20 years ago it meant nothing. For the younger kids it is part of life and cannot even imagine life without it. Unfortunately the Internet has also a dark side. Nobody “owns” it which means that anybody can put just about anything and although sites like Youtube or Facebook will remove inappropriate or offensive content, it can be found elsewhere. This availability causes problems when children surf the web. What makes this particularly difficult to control is that often very innocuous looking links take the user to very non-innocous places…. If your children use your computer, set up user accounts for each of them (and one for you). You can put individual programs on each account – for example children would need a web browser but little else, and web browsers usually have security settings plus Windows itself has security settings – Control panel>Internet Options – I am talking about Windows but I imagine other operating systems have similar settings. Then there is software like Net Nanny (http://www.netnanny.com/) that controls and filters whatever you do and much more. Another area to watch out is a favorite:Facebook. Today almost everybody uses it, especially young people. Unfortunately it’s popularity also makes it an ideal place for dodgy activity. People tend to give too much details about themselves – apart from name they give adress, school, interests, hobbies and much more. Gathering all this data, one can make a pretty good profile of the...
Where’s the pen and paper?

Where’s the pen and paper?

The other day I was chatting casually to a priest when the subject turned to issues to do with the internet.  I enquired as to how in his view and experience the internet was affecting marriage and was intrigued by his answers.  Today, couples are using social media to resolve their issues.  Emails to sort out their problems and social media to externalise them or ‘cover’ them up.  Seeking refuge in such a public space can no doubt lead to many a misunderstanding and further complications.  Not to mention the added complication of comment boards from people who are close and not so close. The truth is that ICT has changed every aspect of our lives.  Marriage and relationships are one such aspect.  Smart phones and social media applications have made it easier to communicate. Gone are the days when our children’s budding romance had to wait for the weekend or that lone telephone call – today its full on social media.  Photos on Instagram, messages that are the subject of various comments, facebook posts and whatsapp messages.  We are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to means of communication today.  It has become so second nature that we feel almost lost without our phones or internet connection. The speed of communications has ironically hindered traditional communications.  Only recently I wanted to thank one of our excellent consultants for the great job he did on a family member.  I sat down and wrote a letter and got the children to do the same.  I have always valued written letters and thought this small gesture will be appreciated.  Indeed...