CYBERANGELS, CYBERDOGS

On April 21, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act went into effect, requiring certain commercial Websites to obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under the age of 13. But many worry that this legislation will not be enough to protect the nation’s children from cyberstalkers.

A number of groups are dedicated to protecting children on the Internet, including Cyberangels.org, the largest online safety and education program of its kind, which uses volunteers to find and report sites that use children in sexually provocative ways, and then works to have law enforcement shut them down.

Of course, there are already numerous software products designed to help parents protect children online. For instance, they might want to consider investing in a nasty canine – in digital form – known as The Internet Guard Dog. This software system, produced by McAfee Retail Software, surfs the Internet using customizable online protection controls, including objectionable Website blocking, chat room filtering, and Internet hour settings. Rrrruff!

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