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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Internet Safety Hazards

This past Christmas brought both of my kids into the "iPod" age - both getting iPod Touch's as gifts.  They really are very cool devices (I want one now) but, as I've discussed in other postings, they introduce a new realm of safety concerns, as do the latest video game consoles for your television.

I came across this article today that discusses some of these hazards.  This is nothing new, I've discussed about 75% of what this article says in past postings.  But what was very useful about this particular article is that it summarizes many of the points I've made in various postings and offers some great links to helpful websites (like parental controls for Playstation and Wii and helpful suggestions about iPod's and iPhones).  Here's an excerpt from the article:


Even if you have parental controls set on your home computer, your kids may still be at risk from Internet safety hazards with all of the products in your home that are connected to the Internet.
Surprisingly, your child may now get connected to the Internet through their:
  • iPod Touch (via WiFi)
  • iPhone and other smart phones
  • Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite (via WiFi)
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Sony Playstation 3
  • Sony PSP (via WiFi)
Again, that can be fun, offering kids access to online games and multiplayer online gaming, but it also allows them to chat with people and some include a web browser. Although parental controls are available for most of these devices, the average parent who doesn't use the device himself isn't likely to think about turning those controls on.

Before getting one of these devices that is Internet-ready or hooking up an Internet-ready gaming system to your home Internet network, be sure you know how to turn on any available parental controls:
What about parental controls for the iPod Touch or iPhone? Unfortunately, there really aren't any yet. You can go to Settings > Restrictions, enter a passcode and then set restrictions to access:
  • iPod songs with explicit lyrics
  • Safari
  • YouTube
  • iTunes
  • Installing Apps
  • Camera
Unfortunately, except for the explicit iPod settings, these are strict restrictions to the use of these applications and not filtering. For example, restricting Safari means that you can't use the web browser at all, which removes many of the more useful features of the iPhone or Internet-enabled iPod Touch. 

The iPod Touch is likely still a good choice for kids to listen to music, play games and use other applications, but until there are better parental controls, it might be safer to set the restrictions and leave its WiFi Internet connection off (and don't give your kids the password to your home WiFi network if you have one).


The link to the entire article is:

1 comment:

  1. I knew you would have info on the iPod Touch!! My son wanted one for Christmas but before I would let him turn it on, I had to come out here to see if you had anything written about it. Great info. Thanks so much.