Educational CyberPlayGround ®

Trouble Areas for Kids and Parents

Talk with your kids about what is happening. 



Parents learn how to keep children safe on the Internet.

Find the tools that a parent needs to supervise and keep children and teenagers safe on the internet.




Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace

Institutionalized sense of impatience
4 REASONS - failed parenting stratedgies, technology, impatience, environment then when they get a job in the real world they find out they are NOT SPECIAL, their MOM CAN'T GET THEM A PROMOTION, YOU DON'T GET A MEDAL FOR COMING IN LAST, AND YOU JUST CAN'T HAVE IT CAUSE YOU WANT IT.
YOU HAVE AN ENTIRE GENERATION THAT GREW UP WITH LOWER SELF ESTEEM THEN PREVIOUS GENERATIONS. and they grew up with no resrictions on cell phones and social media which because interactions they are addicted because of the dopamine release - same as smoking, drinking, drugging, etc. as they go through teenage years where they need the approval of their peers for the dopamine rush. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses.



“Facebook Is Dead To Us”: What Teens Think About 11 Of The Biggest Social Networks
Facebook: “It’s dead to us. Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave.” But, he mentions, everyone is on it and it’s “weird and annoying” if you’re not. The social order of how modern day collegiate friendships are made begins with a friending on Facebook. Instagram is by far the most used social media outlet for my age group.
“Snapchat is quickly becoming the most used social media network.” He explains, the difference between Snapchat and Instagram is in the etiquette. On Snapchat people will post photos and videos of their night as it happens. The good, the bad and the fugly. On Instagram they post “the cutest one of the bunch.” He likes that there are no comments and that posts disappear forever. There’s “a lot less social pressure attached to it” and what makes it so “addicting and liberating. It’s the real you.” Because there’s no searching past photos/videos (and everything gets deleted after a view), kids can post drinking, smoking, or whatever risqué shit they get into without fear of a future employer finding it. "Tumblr is like a secret society that everyone is in, but no one talks about." YikYak everyone is on it before class, during class, and after class to find out what is going on around campus.

You won't be able to and can't,
keep up with what is going on in the following areas:



Videogame parental controls guide to PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation Portable. The Nintendo and Microsoft controls are based on the Entertainment Software Rating Board's ratings Guide (e.g., "E," "T," and "M" for "Everyone," "Teen," and "Mature"). Sony's controls are not ESRB-based so you'll need to experiment to find the right restriction level. Also tells how to set controls on the Web browsers in the PS3, PSP, and Wii consoles. Xbox parental controls for its online service, Xbox Live.



Guide to Cell Phone Carrier Parental Controls

Fear on the Phone: When Children Get Threatening Texts: within the next year or two nearly all mobile phones will have internet access. Parents should be aware of this and no longer assume that internet safety applies only to the home computer.

Social-networking will drive the next-generation Cellphone market.

Verizon Wireless requires a data plan on most phones now - no parental control available
We promised my daughter a new cell phone for her birthday. She picked the Envy 2. When we purchased the same phone for her older brother, it came with a $10/mo data plan. But, we were able to cancel it immediately. Turns out, as of Nov 19th 2009, the vast majority of Verizon phones MUST have a minimum of a $10/mo data plan. You cannot cancel.
The basic plan provides only 25MB. Additional MB's are $1.99. I asked the salesman (and later the 800 number) how I could control her data usage so as not to exceed the 25MB/mo and incur large charges unexpectedly. I was told my only option was to buy her an unlimited plan for $30/mo. None of the data plans allow any parental control on how my daughter utilizes the Internet. Turns out the only control option available costs $5/mo. This option will only allow me to set the time of day that she can use the phone. In other words, I can turn off texting, calls (except emergency and a trusted list), and data. But, I can't control individual services nor do I have any parental control over the use of the Internet.
Given that Verizon has now made data plans mandatory for the majority of their phones, more and more children are going to have unfettered Internet access in their hands (unsupervised). While I trust my children, I still worry they will unknowingly run up the data costs or find the more colorful corners of the Internet.
AT&T has a set of parental controls called Smart Limits for Wireless that does allow you to set caps on the amount of data a device can consume, and they allow you to impose parental controls. However, neither of these features seems to work with the iPhone! I suspect, but havent tested, that they would fail equally on Windows Mobile or Android devices. WM and iPhone devices both allow you to disable the browser, but apart from that your parental filtering/control options are pretty limited.



ALERT see real world Blog Discussion that took place on a social networking site below.

A public forum is far too free a medium for those who are not fully aware of the consequences of their actions. Kids really don't understand that ANYBODY could be reading their blogs.

Examples of:

Alaska Govenor Paylin's daughter Bristal Paylin, and boyfriend Levi Johnson myspace pages.

2008 Video of Govenor Paylin's husband in bed filmed by Bristol when she was much younger that WAS placed on Youtube now taken down.



"Way long ago when only university professors were on the internet, and in the late 80's and early 90's (when I first got on the net) before it became commercial, the internet was a perfectly safe neighborhood. Now with everyone in the world online Kids do not understand that the net isn't as safe as the bedroom they live in, and they don't realize that just because the child didn't tell all your / their private information to anyone all at one time, that someone can't compile it and figure out everything, putting your privacy at risk. KIDS DON'T GET IT.
You must educate these kids about the dangers; even the "savvy' types really have no idea what information they are giving out.  You should scare them with the consequences. Teach them that the real world they live in known as the meat space intersects cyber space and they have given away their own privacy which they should guard in this world. Blow their little minds -  LOOK at what they put out there then they will understand what they think of as their "private" stuff - isn't private.
Someone wrote about an example on
[ . . . "I was looking at one in NC (where I used to live) and I was able to find the blog of a 13 year old girl.  I saw a picture of her, got her first and last name, the school she attends, her e-mail her AIM and from the blogs a basic description of what she does everyday.  I know that she had a track meet at the local high school last Saturday.  Thankfully I am not a predator and I am not planning to find this girl.  But what if I was? From her last name I could easily look in the yellow pages for her address and phone number - how hard is that.  I know where she's going to be, I even have a picture. "]
Go and check on USA, then your state, then type in the name of a school. or click on the "blogrings" choice above the search box type in the name of my child's school (only the word *schoolnamehere*).
To Remove the Information:
1. You must have the password
2. Navigation Menu choose something to take down the site, and delete each post and pictures."



The FBI has a unit that deals with missing and exploited children. Contact the nearest FBI office, they might send an Agent to Speaker to your students on the topic of internet safety. They also ask eighth graders to come in and teach teen slang, etc. to the agents who worked teen chat rooms.
A "real-time" discussion in which a user converses with one or more persons, with messages posted on a designated page for all to see. The conversation scrolls upward on the screen only while the conversation is taking place. Access can be completely open to the public (with a perfunctory on-line registration process) or via invitation only.



A chat-like technology provided by an on-line service permitting private, simultaneous text conversations between two users. Originally developed by AOL, the service is free to the general public; Yahoo and other competitors have produced similar software.



Real-time text conversations similar to that found in chat rooms. Free, but requires knowledge of the recipient's IRC address. Hacker activity is happening here and historically located here.



A system of more than 29,000 public (and an unknown number of private) special interest discussion groups to which users can post messages or attach files (text, graphics, sound). A user has to be invited into a private newsgroup (and given the specific address) in order to participate.




COPPA is about privacy protection for kids

COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The act specifically limits children's entering certain kinds of data (name, address, etc.) such as that required for registration for a site or to receive information. Each web site operator is required to obtain
verifiable parental consent before using the web site to collect information from any kid under age 13. There are privacy implications for those schools who are considering using free computers/portals that are supported by advertising because they would then be marketing direct to kids (and their families)...
They have already discovered that even if a service requires them to be over 13 to register in order to comply with the Act (as the "freebies" like GO and hotmail are currently doing) all they have to do is enter a different birth year. There is no enforcement or verification process that can *prove* their actual age.

  • According to a new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, almost two thirds of the young people surveyed said they would share the names of their favourite stores if they were given a free gift. Over half said they would give out the names of their parents' favourite stores.
    More than a third would tell what type of cars the family owns, what they do at the weekend, how much their allowance amounts to each week and whether or not their parents discuss politics.
    Teenagers (13-17 year olds) are more likely to give out information than 10-12 year olds are and boys are more likely to than girls are.
    About 3 in 4 parents worry about their children giving out personal information online. 96 percent of parents and 79 percent of 10-17 year olds agreed that teenagers should get parental permission before sharing information on the Internet.
  • How to Comply With The Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule 1999
  • 22 Jul 2008 COPA Decision Third Circuit  Court of Appeals Strikes Down the Children's Online Protection Act : Here is something interesting - district court findings of fact
    The Commission on Online Child Protection. Congress created a commission also called COPA.
    COPA was about preventing indecent content on the Net.
    The court issued a unanimous opinion in ACLU v. Mukasey affirming the District Court and holding that the Child Online Protection Act is unconstitutional. The court held that COPA is vague and overbroad, and that it does not constitute the least restrictive means of protecting children.  In reaching these conclusions, the court also confirmed that COPA does not apply to websites outside the U.S. COPA is the successor statute to the Communications Decency Act, which attempted to extend indecency rules to the Internet.
  • The American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy has created a web site to explain the federal Children's On-line Privacy Protection Act in detail.
  • Key People -
  • Issues: Privacy Rights for Children
  • Privacy Rights for Adults

student Email


There should be no establishment of student accounts on systems unless there is a clear educational purpose, no advertising is directed at students, and parents have been fully informed and have approved such accounts.

  1. There should be no collection, analysis, or sale of individual or aggregated student use data for market research purposes.
  2. How many school districts have policies related to teacher responsibilities when establishing accounts for students on 3rd party sites?
  3. The Michigan Children's Protection Registry is a secure database of protected e-mail addresses. It allows Michigan's parents and schools to register e-mail addresses that children may access.
  4. Try It is web-based so students can access it from anywhere.
    - Suggest setting it up with fictitious last names to help appease nervous parents about their kids getting on the net.
    - You can set it for various levels of filtering.
    - You can preview all documents before they are received or sent.
    - There are no annoying ads attached.
    - Each account has a draft folder. You can use this as a web based storage area for each student. If they have a report they are working on in school, they can "compose" a letter to themself, attach their report and then save it as a draft. It doesn't have to go through an adult and then they can access it at home.


The National Academies' report entitled "Youth, P----ography and the Internet" was released on May 2, 2002. The report examines approaches to protecting children and teens from Internet pornography, threats from sexual predators operating on-line, and other inappropriate material on the Internet. It discusses social and educational strategies, technological tools, and policy options for how to teach children to make safe and appropriate decisions about what they see and experience on the Internet. Chaired by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, it's the most comprehensive study yet on the topic.

Online Sex Crimes against Juveniles: Myth and Reality Hearing before the U.S. Senate July 24, 2007
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Washington, DC Testimony of Dr. David Finkelhor
Director Crimes against Children Research Center
University of New Hampshire
Durham, New Hampshire 603 862-2761




The difference between a hacker and a cracker is malicious, destructive intent.

Espionage / Counterespionage at home *in context*
Countersurveillance being done by kids like changing the text and background on a monitor to blue and black "making it harder to read the screen from across the room"; setting IM preferences to "invisible" so parents can't tell they're online; turning GPS-enabled phones off; making MySpace profiles (and searchable personal info) partially fictitious [1]; learning to check blogs and to IM them to come down to dinner. One mother thinks "communicating over a screen has helped her and her son step out of their customary roles" and see each other as people. explains that there is free downloadable software on the Net that allows malicious hackers to steal users' passwords. Kids are just not educated enough on good security practices, or show a lack of common sense with this stuff.Parents, make sure your kids practice good computer security - choose hard-to-guess passwords, don't share them with friends, change them fairly often, and choose different ones for different sites and services.

How to Devise Passwords
It is absurdly easy to get hacked. Hackers regularly exploit tools like John the Ripper, a free password-cracking program that use lists of commonly used passwords from breached sites and can test millions of passwords per second. Mr. Paul Grossman at WhiteHat Security, runs Cryptography Research, a security firm that specializes in keeping systems hacker-resistant.

  • FORGET THE DICTIONARY If your password can be found in a dictionary, you might as well not have one.
  • COME UP WITH A PASSPHRASE The longer your password, the longer it will take to crack. A password should ideally be 14 characters or more in length if you want to make it uncrackable by an attacker in less than 24 hours. Because longer passwords tend to be harder to remember, consider a passphrase, such as a favorite movie quote, song lyric, or poem, and string together only the first one or two letters of each word in the sentence.
  • JUST JAM ON YOUR KEYBOARD For sensitive accounts, Mr. Grossman says that instead of a passphrase, he will randomly jam on his keyboard, intermittently hitting the Shift and Alt keys, and copy the result into a text file which he stores on an encrypted, password-protected USB drive. “That way, if someone puts a gun to my head and demands to know my password, I can honestly say I don’t know it.”
  • STORE YOUR PASSWORDS SECURELY Do not store your passwords in your in-box or on your desktop. Mr. Grossman stores his password file on an encrypted USB drive for which he has a long, complex password that he has memorized. He copies and pastes those passwords into accounts so that, in the event an attacker installs keystroke logging software on his computer, they cannot record the keystrokes to his password. Mr. Kocher takes a more old-fashioned approach: He keeps password hints, not the actual passwords, on a scrap of paper in his wallet. “I try to keep my most sensitive information off the Internet completely,” Mr. Kocher said.
  • A PASSWORD MANAGER? MAYBE Password-protection software lets you store all your usernames and passwords in one place. Some programs will even create strong passwords for you and automatically log you in to sites as long as you provide one master password. LastPass, SplashData and AgileBits offer password management software for Windows, Macs and mobile devices. But consider yourself warned: Mr. Kocher said he did not use the software because even with encryption, it still lived on the computer itself. “If someone steals my computer, I’ve lost my passwords.”
  • IGNORE SECURITY QUESTIONS There is a limited set of answers to questions like “What is your favorite color?” A better approach would be to enter a password hint that has nothing to do with the question itself. For example, if the security question asks for the name of the hospital in which you were born, your answer might be: “Your favorite song lyric.”
  • USE DIFFERENT BROWSERS Mr. Grossman makes a point of using different Web browsers for different activities. “Pick one browser for ‘promiscuous’ browsing: online forums, news sites, blogs — anything you don’t consider important,” he said. “When you’re online banking or checking e-mail, fire up a secondary Web browser, then shut it down.” That way, if your browser catches an infection when you accidentally stumble on an X-rated site, your bank account is not necessarily compromised. Chrome was the least susceptible to attacks.
  • SHARE CAUTIOUSLY “You are your e-mail address and your password,” Mr. Kocher emphasized. Whenever possible, he will not register for online accounts using his real e-mail address. Instead he will use “throwaway” e-mail addresses, like those offered by Users register and confirm an online account, which self-destructs 10 minutes later. Mr. Grossman said he often warned people to treat anything they typed or shared online as public record.
  • “At some point, you will get hacked — it’s only a matter of time,” warned Mr. Grossman. “If that’s unacceptable to you, don’t put it online.” ~ NYT

Bot Net - Hackers are taking advantage of programs that secretly install themselves on thousands or even millions of personal computers, band these computers together into an unwitting army of zombies, and use the collective power of the dragooned network to commit Internet crimes. All of which is possible only because insecure systems are made  available to unwitting users. The only way to fix this problem is for vendors to fix their software, and they won't do it until it's in their financial  best interests to do so." i.e., there needs to be financial liability involved, like in the credit card business.

Like a typical teen-ager, Cole Bartiromo played baseball and listened to rap music. He was also a whiz when it came to the Internet, but that got him in trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Law enforcement officials say the Orange County high school student is like a growing number of his peers -- teens who use the Internet to pull off everything from securities fraud to identity theft. ``We have seen a rise in the crimes, with an increasing degree of sophistication by a younger demographic,'' said FBI agent Frank Harrill of the Los Angeles cybercrime squad. Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against Bartiromo, 17, alleging he raised more than $1 million by selling what he described as ``risk-free'' investments in which he pooled investors' funds to bet on sporting events. The boys, ages 14 to 16, obtained the credit card numbers by allegedly tricking people into transmitting their account information over the Internet. In 2000, 16-year-old Jonathan Lebed of Cedar Grove, N.J., faced only civil action for manipulating stocks in what federal authorities called a ``pump and dump'' scheme. ``The federal government is just not set up to deal with'' prosecuting children, said Howard Friedman, who heads the Cybersecurity Law Institute at the University of Toledo in Ohio. In addition to repaying the money, Bartiromo also was expected to file an accounting of his actions, outlining how he set up the investment program and how much money came in, SEC officials said.

Lebed's case is well known; what is less well known: the SEC allowed him to keep $500,000 of his ill-gotten profits.

A Massachusetts 17 year old teenager pleaded guilty to cracking
The youngest member of the same cracking ring known as the "DefonicTeam Screen Name Club" or "DFNCTSC" group federal investigators say was responsible for a series of electronic break-ins at data giant LexisNexis.
The 17-year-old boy sentenced to 11 months' detention at a juvenile facility and as an adult, will undergo two years of supervised release in which he will be barred from possessing or using any computer, cell phone or other electronic equipment capable of accessing the Internet.
The teen also pleaded guilty to making bomb threats at two high schools and for breaking into a telephone company's computer system to set up free wireless-phone accounts for friends.
Teen participated in an attack on data-collection firm LexisNexis Group that exposed personal records of more than 300,000 consumers. Prosecutors said victims of the teen's actions have suffered about $1 million in damages.
Teen sent an expletive-laced e-mail to a high school in Florida threatening to blow it up. The school was closed for two days while a bomb squad, a canine team, the fire department and and other emergency officials examined the building.
Teen cracked into the internal computer systems of "a major internet service provider" by tricking an employee into opening a
virus-infected file he sent as an e-mail attachment. The virus -- known as a "Trojan horse" program -- allowed the juvenile to use the employee's computer remotely to access other computers on the ISP's internal network and gain access to portions of the company's operational information.
Teen cracked into the network of Dulles, Va.-based America Online. 
Teen cracked into the telephone records system of T-Mobile International using a security flaw in the company's Web site that allowed him to reset the password of anyone using a Sidekick.
Teen had a friend "set up accounts at LexisNexis, a company which stores identity information concerning millions of individuals which reported in March that crackers had gained access to the personal records of more than 310,000 Americans.
Teen sent hundreds of e-mails with an explicit image and message to open an attached file to view additional pornographic images of children. A police officer in Florida was among those who opened the e-mail attachment, which harbored a virus-like program that allowed the crackers to record anything a victim typed on his or her computer keyboard the computer was now infected with the keystroke-capturing program.
Teen created a series of sub-accounts using the police department's name and billing information. Over the period of several days, the group looked up thousands of names in the database.
Teen called "a major telephone service provider threatened to cripple its Web site with a "distributed denial of service" attack, "initiated a denial of service attack that succeeded in shutting down a significant portion of the telephone service provider's web operations.

See Sony