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Old 10-08-2007, 06:03 PM
Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor
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Default REVIEW: "Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens", Nancy Willard

(Rather disturbingly, when I went to post this on Usenet News, I found as many
lists dedicated to child ****ography as I did to child protection ...)

BKCSKCST.RVW 20070615

"Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens", Nancy Willard, 2007,
978-0-7879-9417-4, US$14.95/C$17.99/UK#9.99
%A Nancy Willard cskcst.com
%C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
%D 2007
%G 978-0-7879-9417-4
%I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O US$14.95/C$17.99/UK#9.99 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...bsladesinterne
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...bsladesinte-21
%O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASI...bsladesin03-20
%O Audience n+ Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 324 p.
%T "Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens"

There are thirty-five short chapters in the book, grouped into five
parts. The work seems to proceed from an assumed position that
children need parental guidance, but addresses only in limited fashion
the frequently held perception that children know more about the
Internet and computers, although they lack judgment. (This perception
may cause children to disregard advice from those who aren't current
with the technology, and may make parents hesitant about taking charge
in unfamiliar territory.)

Part one is an overview of approaches to the online world and it's
dangers, a mix of general background information and strategies that
parents can use in regard to the use of the Internet by their
children. The material starts with an analogy to the development of
safe activities at play, and touches on risks and concerns, guidelines
at different ages, parenting styles (a trifle dismissively),
filtering, supervision, the benefits of collaborating with other
parents, warning indications, non-home venues, and the importance of a
formal parent-teen agreement. The content includes a list of online
dangers, ranging from ****ography to plagiarism. While the risk of
the former is fairly obvious, there is little discussion of the perils
of the latter activity, and this glossing over of the less common
topics is unfortunately characteristic of the book as a whole,
although it is understandable given the vast range of content that
could be covered. Part two notes broad categories of hazards, looking
into aspects of social networking, e-commerce, privacy, addictive
behaviour, the credibility of online information, and the
trustworthiness (or not) of strangers.

Part three again examines liberal classifications, this time on
limitations of young judgment. Whereas the earlier material on
technology was limited in detail, this section moves into deep
conceptual areas such as developmental requirements and sequences.
Unfortunately, for those who do not have Willard's extraordinary grasp
of those issues, little background is provided. Thus, parents are
advised to use arguments that they may not be able to support (or even
understand). (Interestingly, one chapter has a list of indicators to
determine whether your child is "at risk," but does not overtly deal
with the possibility that the child may be "at risk" due to parents
that are uninvolved, over-controlling, or over-permissive.)

Part four is probably the section that will feel closer in tone to
other works on the topic of children and the Internet, as well as
being of the greatest direct use to parents. Specific concerns of
sex, online aggression, self-destructive activity communities, hate
groups, threats of suicide or killing, addictive or violent gaming,
gambling, and computer scams are addressed. The quality is uneven:
sex is handled fully and well, but malware, while decent guidelines
are provided, has little in the way of rationale or background
material.

Part five is a one chapter, three page list of seven brief suggestions
for safer and useful online activities for kids.

The information provided in the book is useful and extensive, but is
not always structured as a reference guide. However, Willard has gone
beyond the volumes that are simple lists of dos and don'ts, by
examining the inherent reasons that kids, specifically, are at greater
risk on the net. The material in the work is not a simple panacea,
but will reward diligent application.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2007 BKCSKCST.RVW 20070615

--
======================
rslade@vcn.bc.ca slade@victoria.tc.ca rslade@computercrime.org
"Dictionary of Information Security," Syngress 1597491152
http://www.syngress.com/catalog/?pid=4150
Dictionary of Info Sec www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1597491152
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