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archive:bbs:danger3
Area: ASKACOP
Msg#: 584             Rec'd                        Date: 10/29/93  22:41
From: Bob Eden                                     Read: Yes    Replied: No
  To: All                                          Mark:
Subj: Info To Parents #3

….continued from previous message:

I have a teenage daughter who is an avid modemmer and can offer the following suggestions to moniter your child, keeping in mind that the parent does not want to necessarily deprive the child of this medium, and in fact, does want to encourage the child to become computer literate:

1) As a parent, you should become knowledgeable in the software used by

 the child, to facilitate the modem.  My child uses Telemate, of which
 I am thoroughly aware.

2) Monitor the modem program to ensure that the numbers listed are in

 the local exchange, so you won't encounter large phone bills.

3) Insist that the child has the password recorded (Telemate has that

 function installed).  Simply use the left arrow key, at the dialing
 menu, until the password becomes visible.

4) If you become suspicious that your child is contacting dangerous BBS

 you can further control the child's activities.  You can insist that
 they engage the "log session" capability of the program, so that you
 can review their activities.  You can also contact the BBS yourself,
 using your child's passowrd, to scan the contents of the suspicious
 BBS.  The danger here is that you can discourage the child and
 alienate him/her. However, if you decide to employ these tactics, you
 likely feel desparate and desparate measures are warranted.

5) In the options pull-down menu area, you can check the download path

 and review the programs and text files downloaded, by your child.
 Look for files on floppies also.

I am sure that there are other things, which may be considered, in becoming aware of your child's activities. I would be interested in hearing about your thoughts and experiences.

I would like to further emphasize that you use tact, in dealing with your child regarding BBS activities. I showed my daughter a letter written by the parent of a child, who became a victim of sexual abuse, because of his activities on the bulletin boards. My daughter was somewhat indignant, saying she was too smart to let this happen to her. However, my daughter, being interested in Tarot Card reading, actually attended a social gathering of a local White Witchcraft BBS group. We allowed her to attend, based on the advice of a local policeman, who is an expert in witchcraft, and the meeting was in a local public place. We stipulated that an adult cousin was to chaperone. Unbeknownst to me, the cousin did not attend and my daughter went alone, with a teenage friend. As it turned out this VERY SMART TEENAGER, returned to the Adult Sysop's house, to view their computer equipment. Fortunately for my daughter, nothing happened.

However, this incident demonstrates that even with all of the precautions taken, children are at risk, because they are for the most part, very naive and trusting.

In the same way that we teach small children never to talk to strangers, we have to teach our computer literate children that the people they are talking to on the computer are also strangers - and they should take the same precautions.

The following are further suggestions offered by the Warwick County Police:

  • WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN

TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT THEIR USE OF THE COMPUTER

KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING

IF POSSIBLE, KEEP THE COMPUTER IN A "COMMON" AREA OF YOUR HOME, SUCH AS A FAMILY ROOM OR DEN. Comment - I conducted an investigation, in which a 16 year old boy, (from Delta, BC) who caused the destruction of a Bulletin Board and a users home computer, by introducting a destructive "batch file". When I visited his home with a search warrant, I found that he had the computer and modem in his bedroom. Remember what was said about "appearance". Well the condition of his room, his computer and discs, was appalling. He had the privacy to do what he wanted. This situation has now changed. His parents, who are upstanding, caring parents, have now removed his modem and the computer is in a common area.

YOU DECIDE IF YOUR CHILD HAS A LEGITIMATE NEED FOR A MODEM

IF A MODEM IS BEING USED, CONTROL THE ACTIVITY MONITOR TIMES AND NUMBERS DIALED.

CLOSELY MONITOR YOUR LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE BILL.

IF THE COMPUTER IS LEFT RUNNING UNATTENDED CHECK THE SCREEN.

IF IT IS SHOWING A SERIES OF SIXTEEN-DIGIT NUMBERS THE COMPUTER IS TRYING TO VALIDATE CREDIT CARD NUMBERS.

IF YOU ARE NOT COMPUTER LITERATE LEARN ABOUT COMPUTERS TAKE A COURSE OR HAVE YOUR CHILD TEACH YOU. ***

I realize that the above material is written by a police officer in the United States, but I have to say that the situation in Canada mirrors that of the U.S. It is a growing concern in the Lower Mainland. I am personally aware of at least 100 Pirate Bulletin Boards and a number of Porn and Occult boards in this area. I am personally aware of over 700 teenagers who use Pirate Boards. Are their parents aware of their children's activities?

                              Detective Dennis Tiessen
                              Vancouver Police Department
                              Fraud Squad
                              312 Main Street,
                              Vancouver, BC
                              V6A 2T2

Please feel free to write me with your comments, advice, tips, or whatever concerns you about Bulletin Boards.

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