TapLog it

Today is Safer Internet Day 2010 and [one of] the slogan[s] being promoted is “Zip it, Block it, Flag it”; I suppose the principle is ok but this is not the language that kids understand however we are stuck with it. What it means, and I had to look it up, is Zip it—Keep stuff private, Block it—Block nasty people, Flag it—Tell someone if anything bothers you. There is more detail, but that is the gist of it; make it too complex and they won’t remember at all. Seeing as this program was announced back in December by the Prime Minister, it is not exactly prominent!

Anyway, I would like to add another one, not for the kids, except perhaps the older ones, but for the parents—Log it.

Most instant messaging (IM) and chat systems have a mechanism that allows a permanent (private) log to be made of all conversations. Switch it on. That way, if there is any doubt or worry then it can be reviewed and, when it is all in one place, trends and tendencies can be spotted more easily. Of course, for young children it is only a reminder because you are always there with them when they are on line **AREN’T YOU**. Older ones are entitled to a bit of privacy so if there are any concerns then you can discuss it with them and review the log together. Without the log there is no evidence that you can see (there are server chat logs which the police can use if an offence is suspected). But, beware, some chat systems also have public logs available where conversations can be seen by anybody. This is not usually a good idea.

Footnote: these are really rotten web sites, they don’t work properly with all web browsers, some make sounds which you can’t turn off and one feature only works with IE 8, a browser only used by 15% of users. The real web site is ceop.gov.uk but there are bogus ones at ceop.org.uk and ceop.co.uk designed to mislead you.

Comments are closed.

^ Top