Web safety at home starts with parents

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2010 04:50 PM | Updated as of Nov 18 2010 12:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - With the popularity of social networking sites, especially among the youth, sharing photos and information is made so much easier nowadays.

Alas, when photos and information deemed to be private are accessed by unscrupulous individuals, they become public and may be damaging to one's reputation.

Such was what happened in the case of "Tin," who was victimized by her own former boyfriend.

In "Failon Ngayon" on ABS-CBN last Saturday, Tin narrated how she was convinced by her then boyfriend to send him her nude photo.

Tin trusted him and sent the photo via Friendster. She believed no one else aside from her boyfriend would see it.

However, when they broke up, Tin got the shock of her life when her photo was circulated in social networking sites. "Tumigil ang mundo ko," she said, and revealed she even considered committing suicide. (See story here.)

Cyber-boso on the Net, cellphone

Perverts uploading and viewing nude photos of unsuspecting people on the Internet or the cellphone are engaging in "cyber-boso."

It's voyeurism, plain and simple.

A web safety expert said parents can do a lot in protecting their children from "cyber-boso".

"Parents should be proactive, [and be] one step ahead of their kids in terms of the technology," said Sonnie Santos, founder of Web Safety Philippines, an advocacy organization.

One action parents can take is to use openDNS software, he said.

"'Yung openDNS, mare-restrict 'yung sites na 'di dapat mapuntahan ng Internet niyo sa bahay, ng network ninyo."

He also said there is no substitute to parental guidance.

"Make sure that the parents would build a genuine relationship with kids, that they can affect a genuine influence [on them]."

Tin, for her part, has learned her lesson the painful way.

"Sa lahat ng gagawin, pag-isipan munang mabuti. 'Wag mangyaring basta-basta magtitiwala," she said. -- Karen Galarpe, abs-cbnNEWS.com