Monday, April 28, 2008

cyberbullying conference in NY June 2nd and 3rd

Register at or

Cyberbullying is trending younger and younger - Sandbox Cyberbullying 4th graders and younger.

Sandbox Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying, like the use of interactive technologies, is trending younger and younger. Two years ago, while speaking to a group of parents (some of whom brought their young children) I asked the audience for definitions of cyberbullying. A little cherubic second grader shyly raised her hand, offering her definition. I smiled to myself while calling on her.
“Cyberbullying is when, if you like a boy and he already has a girlfriend, you go online pretending to be his girlfriend and break up with him. Then he can ask you out.” Her shyness turned quickly into smugness, and I was blown away. Second grade? What in the heck was she going to be doing by third grade?
While this little girl was my first second grade expert on cyberbullying, she wasn’t the last. Not by far. About six months ago, I was speaking to a group of second graders. When I asked how kids can cyberbully each other, a young boy raised his hand. “They can cyberbully each other using Wii,” he offered. When I probed further, I learned that the kids can upload a photo of the cyberbullying target and draw means things on their photo or shoot it, slime it or otherwise attack the target by defacing their image. On Wii!
The fourth graders taught me about extortion. Unlike their older counterparts who use sexual harassment as their torment of choice, fourth graders blackmail each other. “If you don’t do X, I will post this online!” “If you don’t give me Y, I will tell everyone your secrets!” “If you don’t Z, I will tell [your parents][the principal] [the teacher][everyone] what you did!”
Armed with handheld gaming devices with Internet connectivity, cell phones and Internet access, they threaten, harass, extort, embarrass, expose, lie and pass rumors about their acquaintances and former best friends. They do it to be funny. They do it to be popular. They do it for power. They do it to see what happens. They do it to impress their friends. They do it to reinforce their own social status. They do it for revenge. They do it to defend others. They do it by being careless. But they do it. More and more, everyday, kids are hurting kids.
Why? They tell me it’s because they can.
No consequences. Anonymously. They can be mean and get away with it. They can do and say things they would never do or say in real life. They don’t see the hurt, understand the realities or look at it from the target’s perspective. Courtesy and kindness, respect and caring are all abandoned in favor of their 15 megabytes of fame, power and attention.
I worry about what the kids in nursery school will teach me next year.

What you don’t know can hurt kids - Security-

What you don’t know can hurt kids - Security-

Charleston, SC Latest Local News: Cell phones a risk to kids

Charleston, SC Latest Local News: Cell phones a risk to kids

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

To monitor or not to monitor, that is the question - Quelling the Danger Lurking In Junior's Backpack -

Quelling the Danger Lurking
In Junior's Backpack
Cellphone Tools Can Filter
Uncensored Web and Chat;
Parents Risk Privacy Backlash
April 23, 2008; Page D1

In the past, some parents worried when their teens holed up in their bedrooms to surf the Web. Now they wonder about their kids' online habits at the mall, in the car or at a track meet. That's because many cellphones now offer Internet access -- making chat rooms and dating sites available from just about anywhere.

Cellphones pose yet another parenting dilemma. On one hand, the devices allow adults to maintain contact with their kids, helping to supervise their activities from afar. On the flip side, advanced features on some phones let kids check email, send instant messages, and visit mobile versions of Web sites. And that's where teens can get into trouble.

Some cellphone carriers offer services for parents to manage how their children use the Web on their phones. While most only block access to certain Web sites, one third-party provider offers a service that alerts parents when their child makes or receives calls, text messages or photos.

Marybeth Whalen, a 37-year-old writer and stay-at-home mom from Charlotte, N.C., recently heard a story that left her shaken. A friend of hers discovered text-message exchanges with sexual innuendo between the friend's teenage daughter and a boy. Ms. Whalen's friend never suspected that her daughter communicated about such things on the phone.

After hearing her friend's experience, Ms. Whalen started to worry about her own kids. "That kind of woke me up a little bit," she says. At 15 and 13, the two oldest of Ms. Whalen's six children have cellphones. "Even the good kids can be up to stuff that you know nothing about."

Now she is more diligent about watching what her kids do with their phones and tries to stay informed about how they use new gadgets and technology.

Taking a cellphone away entirely would be difficult for many parents -- 72% of teens between ages 13 and 17 already have one, according to a 2007 survey from the Yankee Group, a research and consulting firm.

Among teens, there is a strong demand for text messaging and email on cellphones. Now they want additional features, too, says Chris Collins, a senior analyst with Yankee Group. In a survey, 26% of teens said that having Internet access was a must-have feature for the next phone they bought, according to the Yankee Group.

As mobile Web browsing becomes more common, it will just be another aspect of cellphones that parents need to understand and be informed of, experts say. Monitoring your children's cellphone comes with risks, especially when dealing with teenagers. Communication is essential. Minors should understand why their parents are monitoring them. If not, experts say parents risk alienating and losing the trust of their children.

What's Available

Carriers offer some options for parents to limit what their kids can do with their Web-equipped phones.

Last year, AT&T Inc. launched its Smart Limits plan for $4.99 a month. The plan lets users limit the number of text and instant messages sent and received.

Parents can block content that may not be appropriate for younger users, like chat rooms and dating sites, on AT&T's home page called MEdia Net, which comes with most of AT&T's basic cellphones. Or they can block access to the Web entirely.

Smart Limits' Web filter doesn't work for the Apple iPhone, and it can't turn off the phone's Web browser, according to an AT&T spokesman.

Verizon Wireless added new parental controls for cellphones last year. Users can choose from three levels of settings that will filter the content available on the phone based on a rating system that takes the age of the user into account. The most restrictive setting, aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 12, blocks access to email, instant messaging, social networking sites and chat groups. The free service also filters Verizon's V CAST multimedia player that plays video and music according to the setting chosen by the parent. To sign up, Verizon customers can visit the Web site or call customer service.

These parental settings for the Web aren't available on some older phones and on BlackBerry devices and other smart phones, says Jack McArtney, director for advertising and content standards with Verizon Wireless. The company is working on parental controls for smart phones.

T-Mobile USA Inc. offers a free service called Web Guard that filters mobile Web sites that might be inappropriate for younger users. It automatically blocks the search and browsing of several categories of sites, including dating, gambling and sex sites. The company says the service works on most phones, but may not work at certain times and in certain locations. Users can sign up for the service by logging on to their profile on T-Mobile's Web site.

Sprint Nextel Corp.'s free service is called Web Access and limits Web browsing to about 100 preselected sites that are considered safe for all ages. Parents can turn on the service from their profile on the Sprint Web site or from their child's phone. All other sites are blocked. Email, instant messaging and access to mobile chat rooms can be blocked only by turning off the Web features on the phone itself.

For some parents, blocking features on phones isn't enough. They want to know who their kids are communicating with.

Gregg Friedman, a 46-year-old chiropractor from Phoenix, recently signed up for a third-party application called RADAR to track how his 17-year-old son uses his BlackBerry. Mr. Friedman signed up for the service after his son started getting text messages from bullies and other kids in the neighborhood that Mr. Friedman didn't approve of.

"My wife and I wanted a way to monitor who our son was talking to and texting," he says.

RADAR was launched last year by eAgency Inc., based in Newport Beach, Calif. Here's how it works. The company installs software onto the child's cellphone that monitors incoming and outgoing calls, photos, text messages and emails. Or users can download the software themselves. Parents get an email or text-message alert every time their child uses the phone. (Or they can log on to RADAR's Web site to get these updates.) The text from emails and text messages can be read by the parents. Photos can be seen, too. RADAR also turns off the phone's instant messaging capabilities.

Right now, RADAR software is available only on the BlackBerry Pearl. EAgency will soon release a feature to allow parents to see which Web sites their children visit on their phones, says Bob Lotter, eAgency's chief executive. The service costs $10 a month, and people can sign up at

Mr. Friedman says he and his wife log on to the site a few times each day to check in on their son. His son wasn't happy when he told him that he would be monitored, Mr. Friedman says. His son thought it was an invasion of privacy. "I told him he has no privacy," he says.

Before parents start blocking or checking their children's phones, they should first discuss their worries with their kids, says Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist with the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which studies technology and kids. "Whatever you do should be in the context of an open conversation with that child."

A Matter of Trust

Parents who monitor their kids without discussing it first risk losing their trust, says Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety, an Internet-safety help group.

Just because "you can monitor doesn't mean you should or have to," Ms. Aftab says. At-risk kids, however, are an exception to this rule. In this case, parents should use any technology they can that will help keep the child safe, Ms. Aftab says.

Julie Clark, a 50-year-old freelance writer and Web manager from Cobbs Creek, Va., prefers old-fashioned solutions when dealing with her 16-year-old son, Matthew. On school nights, her son turns over his phone at 9 p.m.

Ms. Clark also limits her son's Web surfing on their home computer. She allows him to use it for school projects only. "The cellphone is a little harder [to monitor] because it's portable," she says. "They can be very secretive with them."
Quelling the Danger Lurking In Junior's Backpack -

Friday, April 18, 2008

Flo and Lucky - the MPAA's pirated DVD-sniffing dogs hold event in LA elementary school

April 18, 2008


Councilmember Wendy Greuel and Internet Safety Expert Dr. Parry Aftab join the MPAA and Lucky and Flo for a demonstration for Clover Avenue Elementary School’s 4th and 5th graders, Monday, April 21 at 9:15 a.m.

WHO: The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Los Angeles City Councilmember Wendy Greuel – Chair of the Los Angeles Anti-Piracy Task Force - team-up with WiredSafety - the largest and oldest online safety, education, and help group in the world - to raise awareness about the importance of copyright protection with the assistance of the MPAA’s very own Lucky and Flo.

The two adorable black labs - the world’s first-ever DVD-sniffing dogs - are making a special stop in Los Angeles on their way to Mexico City and Washington DC to highlight World Intellectual Property Day on April 26. Lucky and Flo have traveled all over the world assisting law enforcement officials track down pirate operations and have helped raise global awareness about the problem of motion picture piracy. The dogs have been so successful that last year a Malaysian pirate syndicate put a bounty on the dogs’ heads of $30,000.

WHAT: Lucky and Flo will demonstrate how they sniff out DVDs hidden in storage containers and luggage, highlighting how they assist law enforcement authorities at raids, border crossings, and customs environments around the world. The assembly will be facilitated by Dr. Parry Aftab, founder of WiredSafety, and her award-winning Teenangels and Tweenangels who will share information with the students about responsible technology use.

WHERE: Clover Avenue Elementary School
11020 Clover Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

WHEN: Monday, April 21, 2008
9:15 a.m.

*GREAT PHOTO OPPORTUNITY* - Lucky and Flo will demonstrate their amazing abilities. Children will help hide DVDs for the dogs to find.


Elizabeth Kaltman
Communications Director
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
(818) 935-5751 - Direct

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stop Cyberbullying International Conference - NY June 2nd and 3rd

The Inaugural Internetaionl StopCyberbullying Conference will be held in NY on two days, one for community participants and one for the industry, regulators and the media.

The community day is free, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited. It will be held in White Plains, NY and is for parents, kids, teens, teachers, law enforcement, mental health experts, guidance counselors, school administrators, etc.

The industry best practices day tickets are $150, with discounts for students, teachers, non-profits and law enforcement members. Pre-registration required and space is limited.

Sponsorship and exhibit tables are available. Contact me for additional information on exhibiting and sponsorship.

I will post more info on the conference when it is finalized.

hope to see you there.


APWG Conference in Tokyo, Japan there or be square :-)

The APWG is delighted to announce that registration for the APWG's Second Annual Counter eCrime Operations Summit (CeCOS II) has opened and that the program committee has posted the preliminary agenda and registration links at: Unlike APWG General Members meetings, CeCOS II Tokyo will be an open conference, with all sessions available to both member and non-member attendees.

CeCOS II is shaping up into a milestone event for APWG members and for all the stakeholding cohorts engaged in the global contest with the burgeoning electronic crime plexus. Our goal, beyond benchmarking the kinds of operational practices that have proven useful in countering electronic crime, is to unite IT operations, security and law enforcement thought-leaders from across the globe to voice priorities in the global confrontation with phishing and eCrime.

AGENDA: A working agenda can be found at this APWG Web page:

The CeCOS II, to be held in Tokyo on May 26 & 27 2008, is being developed in collaboration with the Council of Anti-Phishing Japan, an industry coalition organized at the recommendation of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The Council of Europe has also entered as a program partner, through participation of its Economic Crime Unit.

APWG has always worked to build bridges between constituencies that have to engage the threats that electronic crime poses against consumers and enterprises. With CeCOS II the APWG also hopes to take steps to begin unifying key constituents of global economies - national and regional - against the growing, common peril of electronic crime. This year's meeting will focus on the development of response paradigms and resources for counter-ecrime managers and forensic professionals.

Presenters will proffer case studies of national and regional economies under attack, narratives of successful trans- national forensic cooperation, paradigms for cooperation and unified response against ecrime - and data resources for forensic applications. CeCOS II Tokyo reflects the rapidly expanding APWG membership in Asia but, as importantly, it presents an extraordinary opportunity to build strategic bridges between counter-eCrime operatives worldwide.

VENUE: The conference will be held at the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.
The Akasaka district is a central Tokyo business and government district by day and one of Tokyo's premier entertainment areas by night. The hotel's English-language Web site can be found here:

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: The links for registration Web pages for this APWG conference can be found here:

ACCOMMODATIONS: The APWG has negotiated a discount rate for conference attendees at the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka. The CeCOS II hotel accommodations registration Web page is here:

For attendees planning on staying at other Tokyo hotels, the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka is within 2-minute walks of both Nagata-Cho Station and Akasaka-Mitsuke Station on Tokyo's subway. More info on subway service can be found here:

Instructions on getting to the conference venue from Narita International Airport can be found here:

TRAVEL GUIDANCE: Advisories on such important details as visas and entry requirements for travelers to Japan can be found at these web pages.
For US and Canada:
Other Nations:

SPONSORSHIP: Interested event sponsors can contact Deputy Secretary General Foy Shiver directly at about opportunities for this event.

If anyone has other kinds of questions, they are invited to contact APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy at or +1 617
669 1123.

With cyber bullying, girls gone wild gets a horrifying new meaning

We have to do something to stop the craze of hurting people to get noticed. We will be hosting one of the leading psychiatrists on these kinds of things at our Stop Cyberbullying International Conference on June 2 and 3rd in NY. With cyber bullying, girls gone wild gets a horrifying new meaning

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Courts chip away at Web sites' decade-old legal shield | Tech news blog - CNET

I am pulled on this one. I think sites that don't enforce ehtier terms of service or which are building business on creating hate shouldn't be protected from suits, but legitimate sites doing what they say they do, should be.
watch this space for more.Courts chip away at Web sites' decade-old legal shield | Tech news blog - CNET

Monday, April 07, 2008


Tweenangels, my 7 - 12 year old secret weapons help me understand what younger kids are doing online and assist in making the Internet safer and kids smarter.
For more info about starting your own chapter, visit

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Safety, Big Bucks Drive New Websites for Kids - US News and World Report

Safety is fast becoming big-business when the Web 2.0 industry is involved. Our latest addition to the safer networks industry is a new for-profit company that will open its doors in July, called WiredTrust. Founded by me, it will guide the kids and general audeince industries in keeping the networks safer and helping them manage all risk.
Safety, Big Bucks Drive New Websites for Kids - US News and World Report

State of New Jersey acts in

Too many think that they can do anything online and not be held accountable. But there's more to setting up an online business or social network than just bits and bytes. Having your privacy policy and terms of service matach your actual practices is crucial and the way most mess up. In this case, I am looking for ways they mess up, or ways they can make things a bit more responsible. Selling and marketing hate and rumor-mongering is a problem, especially if you don't do what you promise. AG Milgram, in NJ, is taking action. We commend her for doing this and hope the others will too.
This is a new business model and becomes more popular as we do media against it. It's time for the law enforcement players ot do their best to make sure they follow the law. And I'll lend any support to them that I can.
ThanksState of New Jersey

Teen describes role in MySpace hoax - Internet-

Megan Meier died at her own hands after being harassed online by people posing as a cute 16-year-old boy on myspace. The people behind the cyberbullying attacks turned out to be a local neighborhood mom, Lori Drew. Ashley Grills, a babysitter who worked for the Drews helped set up the profile and together with Lori Drew tormented Megan. Mean words kill. Our new program, the megan pledge is designed to get 1 million young people involved in taking a pledge against cyberbullying and seeing suicide as an option.
I think it's time for the US Attorney for St. Louis area to charge Lori under the federal cyberstalking law.
Teen describes role in MySpace hoax - Internet-

Get involved with the megan pledge, let's hold adults responsible for their actions...Lori Drew should be in jail instead of redoing her basement.
Mean words kill!