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Protecting Children online

DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss.Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
I had an idea, and while I don't quite possess the technical knowledge to make a useable product out of it, I thought I'd post it here to at least see if it's feasible and get some discussion out of it.

The idea is that idiot teenagers (and younger) are giving up information online that they really ought not to. I don't mean providing an email address to sign up for a site, I mean posting a personal phone number (or other information that circumvents the need for internet communication) in the middle of a message online, whether it be on myspace or some random forum.

Like I said, I don't know if this is a viable solution - I just thought of it, so I'm sure there are issues I haven't considered. All information posted online is still passed through forms, right? Why not have a Firefox plugin, or some process running that intercepts information sent through forms and looks for anything you specify (such as your teen's cell number, your street address) and requires a password (presumably known only to the parent).

Is this doable? The only problem I've come up with is that it in no way prevents online predators from posting their phone number and saying "call me", but there's nothing that prevents that now, either.

Delzhand on

Posts

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I would say that it would be very hard.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yes, because there's no way anyone could ever use substitute characters to fool something like that. Nope, never been done before.

    Thanatos on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2008
    Yup, difficult to implement and easy to defeat.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The better solution to protect the childrens. Raise them well.

    moniker on
  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    But isn't the difficulty to defeat just a function of the effort put into the program? I mean, Google's got some pretty snappy recognition of what you mean when you have a typo, and there are at least a handful of good 1337 to leet translators out there...

    I'm presuming at least a somewhat tech-savvy parent - like me, when I have kids, not like parents of teens today.

    Now, as far as difficult to implement, would it be any harder than a packet sniffer? Like I said, I'm not terribly clear on how information travels over the tubes, but you've got to put it in the tubes at some point, and it just seems like it should be possible to take a good long look at what's being put in.
    moniker wrote: »
    The better solution to protect the childrens. Raise them well.

    So nothing bad ever happens to the children of well-meaning and intelligent parents? Even smart, well-raised kids are susceptible to deception.

    Delzhand on
  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, profanity filters are amazingly easy to bypass, a more nebulous personal information filter would be even easier. I mean, do you just prevent anyone from ever being able to put 10 numbers in a row? What if there are commas? 8,008,675,309 is just a number, right?

    It's really just not possible to make something that will keep kids from doing something stupid. Let's all think back to stupid things we did as children, and how ineffective our parents were at stopping us.

    kildy on
  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    How do I tell if they're giving up their address or another address to meet someone? How do I stop them from giving it across multiple lines that a human could put together as an address? Heck, how do Just stop them from linking to google maps with the address already plugged in.

    Phone numbers are just numbers, you don't need the dashes, and you can't prevent people from being able to type numbers.

    Real Names would kind of suck to block, because then you get into common names, etc.

    It's about as high on the "unpossible to impliment" as actual online identities. You can't actually prove who was at a keyboard at any time, as much as people try and approximate proof.

    kildy on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2008
    Here are a bunch of ways to communicate the same number:

    555-1234

    five-five-five-one-two-three-four

    5a.b5a.b5a.b1a.b2a.b3a.b4

    f1v3-f1v3-f1v3-0n3-tw0-thr33-f0ur

    five-hundred fifty five, one-thousand two-hundred thirty-four.

    Let me know when you've written an algorithm to detect and block all those so I can work on the next batch.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    kildy wrote: »
    Yeah, profanity filters are amazingly easy to bypass, a more nebulous personal information filter would be even easier. I mean, do you just prevent anyone from ever being able to put 10 numbers in a row? What if there are commas? 8,008,675,309 is just a number, right?

    It's really just not possible to make something that will keep kids from doing something stupid. Let's all think back to stupid things we did as children, and how ineffective our parents were at stopping us.

    Well, it'd probably be a specific chain of numbers the parent would plug in to be blocked. But there'd be plenty of ways to bypass that through social engineering, let alone the simple fact that the net is going to be ubiquitous by the time any of us are going to be concerned about our kids getting molested by it. Your own computer(s)/internet connection may be 'safe' thanks to this, but what about the friends', schools', etc. What about the future of cell phones which are becoming miniature computers in their own right? There really isn't a technological solution to people being fucktarded.

    moniker on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Let's be honest, here, too: how much of a tragedy is it when a kid posts their phone number or address? How often has it actually led to anything happening to them? Statistically speaking, what is a kid's likelihood of actually being a victim of an online stalker?

    Thanatos on
  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Here are a bunch of ways to communicate the same number:

    555-1234

    five-five-five-one-two-three-four

    5a.b5a.b5a.b1a.b2a.b3a.b4

    f1v3-f1v3-f1v3-0n3-tw0-thr33-f0ur

    five-hundred fifty five, one-thousand two-hundred thirty-four.

    Let me know when you've written an algorithm to detect and block all those so I can work on the next batch.

    "666-2345, just subtract 1 from everything!"

    Honestly, kids are smarter than people give them credit for. If they want to bypass something, they will.

    kildy on
  • KungFuKungFu Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    2770997084_TV_CHRIS_HANSENx.jpg

    Why don't you have a seat?

    KungFu on
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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.
    By the time I was fourteen, I had about four extra power cords in my closet.

    Thanatos on
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Faggy Toes wrote: »
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.
    By the time I was fourteen, I had about four extra power cords in my closet.

    I was looking up hacks to my dad's "cyber patrol" program by that age.

    Medopine on
  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Ouch. That settles that.

    I don't think I've ever been so succinctly owned. In my defense, I really didn't give it much thought. It popped into the back of my head while I was doing something completely unrelated.

    Also, I think the Cornelius Solution is a bit overboard. Everyone knows that only good people can hide in computers.

    Actually, could a mod lock this to prevent further shame to my name and family?

    Delzhand on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Faggy Toes wrote: »
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.
    By the time I was fourteen, I had about four extra power cords in my closet.

    Shit I guess that only works when you don't have any decent shops nearby...

    Or didn't figure out the hiding spaces and do your surfing at 4 AM before school.


    Oh, okay: Move to a log house in the middle of nowhere, introduce them to technology when they turn 18.

    Seriously though, the best way to protect a kid is to encourage critical thinking. Make them think before they give out potentially useful information. Make them read a fantasy novel that involves the main character killing a villian by using his True Name and be all "see that's what happens when you use a credit card irresponsibly".

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Faggy Toes wrote: »
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.
    By the time I was fourteen, I had about four extra power cords in my closet.

    There's other, more important things that a person can take. The monitor. Or the keyboard. Or the mouse. Or even the RAM. No computer is going to POST let alone boot without RAM.

    saggio on
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  • NintoNinto Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, seeking a technological solution to this is not really viable at this point, unless you just simply lock down *everything* and lock your kids in a closet.

    In reality, protection is a little overrated. Yes kids should be protected from high risk harm as much as possible, but over-protecting someone will end up harming them *more* in the long run by making them less able to think critically and take care of themselves when needed.

    Especially online. In my opinion the danger of unrestricted online access is the type of mentality it engenders. It promotes unrealistic sexuality (porn), invalid information (wikis, spam, blogs), groupthink and confirmation bias (forums), sloppy communication skills (IM) and a variety of other ills.

    I have a 10 month old daughter. I plan on "sharing" limited internet time with her as she grows, as well as spending time teaching her how to properly build a good BS filter, check things on snopes, search properly, check facts before allowing herself an opinion, etc. Once she's older into her teen years she may get her own private computer, but until shes expressed an ability to handle things, all her access will be in a public family area.

    Ninto on
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Preventing children from doing something is not worthwhile. Not only do they find ways of bypassing the primitive methods you used to stop them from doing something, they feel resentful and hurt that you don't trust them when they were doing something perfectly legitimate- like MSNing their phone number to their science project partner.

    What you really want to do is be notified when your child is giving away sensitive information- have a program sitting around in the background that will allow everything through, but if it picks up certain information it notifies the parent and (ideally) saves contextual information for the parent to review.

    So if the child is giving out their phone number, save the MSN conversation and e-mail it to the parent. Or save a log of an e-mail to a local file and raise a flag.

    No, this isn't foolproof... but it's less intrusive and doesn't let your child know there's any reason to be devious. If the child CAN enter their phone number into a message successfully, they're unlikely to obfuscate it, and so your software doesn't have to be so smart.

    El Skid on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Faggy Toes wrote: »
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.
    By the time I was fourteen, I had about four extra power cords in my closet.

    There's other, more important things that a person can take. The monitor. Or the keyboard. Or the mouse. Or even the RAM. No computer is going to POST let alone boot without RAM.

    Hahaha

    I actually remember that happening to me. I was home from school one day because it was an In-Service day.

    I was all "wheee unsupervised time on internet means pornography!"

    And then I come into the computer room and there's just a blank space where the monitor used to be. It was then I realized my parents were clever.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Faggy Toes wrote: »
    Honestly the Cornelius Solution is the only way to go.

    Either way, you could do what my parents did: take the power cord.
    By the time I was fourteen, I had about four extra power cords in my closet.

    There's other, more important things that a person can take. The monitor. Or the keyboard. Or the mouse. Or even the RAM. No computer is going to POST let alone boot without RAM.

    My mother was fond of taking the mouse.

    She was not aware that it's entirely possible to use windows with a keyboard.

    As for taking the insides of a computer, that's a tad over complicated, and asking for random static discharge replacements. Removable harddrives are easier.

    kildy on
This discussion has been closed.