Top 10 Safety List: Keep Computers Out of Bedrooms
To follow up on last month's national cyber security awareness initiative, (ISC)2, or "ISC squared", on Wednesday released 10 tips for parents to help keep their children safe online, including warnings against letting children use computers in their bedrooms and guarding against a gender gap in children's perception of online risk.
The list—authored by the group that educates and certifies information security professionals throughout the world—made other suggestions that are perhaps more common knowledge, such as maintaining an open dialogue with children and understanding that even mobile devices that connect to the Web pose risks.
But its warning against bedroom computer use is perhaps more surprising since it goes against convention for those whose mode of connectivity at home is a laptop or netbook and a WiFi Internet router. Apparently, that's a lot of us, because (ISC)2 says most children report having access to laptops in their bedrooms, and many of them past 11 p.m., even on school nights.
Meanwhile, (ISC)2 warns that children, and particularly boys, need to be warned against the process of competitive "friending"—i.e., accepting friends on Facebook or other social networks that children may not even know, simply to maintain an appearance of popularity. Boys are especially at risk of this, the list says, because they believe girls are more likely targets of stalkers or sexual predators.