Let’s face it: the internet is invading our lives. It’s become a part of almost every computing device and even some MP3 players. I get on the internet at least once every day, and many times on most days. It’s how many of us organize our calendars, keep in touch with others, find answers to questions, and pass our spare time. The internet is an amazing tool for all this and more, but it has dangers, too. The news is replete with stories of internet predators. The internet is also full of unwanted content, much of it maliciously trying to capture our attention or our private data. Because of this ‘internet invasion’ we all need to be aware of the dangers and the possible defenses available to us.
There are many available protections against internet invasion. The most important defense is self control. Don’t allow yourself to spend too much time on the net; don’t go surfing in chat rooms; don’t view malicious content if it does pop up on your screen. To help in this endeavor, there are also content filters and good practices, like keeping the family computer in a public room (instead of the bedroom). Rather than attempt to list all the available tools, let me direct you to a useful resource, the Internet Safety Podcast (and wiki). There you’ll find an introduction to internet safety topics and technologies, as well as ideas and instructions on how to make the most of them.