Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Internet Security – Time to lockdown my nerd apprentice

Nerd-Proof Web Content Filtering....does it exist?

The whole reason I started this site was to discuss topics about raising a nerd. My little nerd is a boy at the precipice of puberty; he got his first pimple two days ago. By definition nerds are smart and being smart he will undoubtedly have the skills, either taught by me or one of his nerd friends, to bypass any cursory attempts at internet security.  

Up until this point we have made sure that his internet activity has been in a visible place, usually on the couch next to me or his mother. We will also periodically go through his browsing history to see if we find anything that comes close to inappropriate. So far this has sufficed but as I said earlier, nerd boy is on the precipice of puberty and pretty soon the hormones are going to really kick in. Remember the pimple?

There are a lot of great things that go along with the teen years; you get to see your kid grow physically, mentally, and emotionally and you get to participate in their joys and successes. However, we were all teenagers once and know the struggles and heartbreaks that go along with the journey from kid to adult. I don't have a roadmap for the teen years, I am sure I will struggle and make mistakes but I can prepare for the things I do know

The web is a wonderful place with grand ideas and information at your fingertips. I also know, as do most of you, that there are other grimier parts of the web. While I won't go into details here I think most of you know what I mean. This grimier part is not new; the internet just makes it more accessible. In the past you would need to physically search this stuff out and be seen headed to the seedy side of town. Now the seedy side of town is on your iPhone just a few taps away. 

Nerd Proof

Since I am raising a nerd I have to keep that in mind while designing internet security for my family. Some things will try to come in the door uninvited and those I can work to block, however, some things, such as pornography, may actively be searched for either by the boy or his nerd friends. I can, and do, talk to him about this type of stuff and how he needs to stay away from it.  I hope that works, but hope is not a plan.  In the next few weeks, I'll be researching and implementing a nerd proof internet security and web content filtering plan.  Stay tuned  and I'll let you know what I find out and hopefully offer some suggestions on how you might be able to protect your own nerd.