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                    Quick Links            Issue: #47                                         March 2011
                Previous Newsletters
                Resources for Parents
                                           47th Edition of the Children Online Newsletter.
               Children Online Website
                                           One of the many reasons we
                                           value our visits to schools and
                                           conversations with thousands of
                   Join Our List           students each year is because
                                           we learn so much from them!
                                           For example, we often learn
                                           what's popular, what are their
                                           greatest concerns or fears online, and what websites they are
               Screen Shots                exploring.

         Below are links to screen
                                           This year we've noticed a trend amongst younger students.
         shots of Gmail account
                                           Google's Buzz is becoming very popular. Yet most parents
         settings, chat and Buzz
                                           aren't aware that their children are using it or how public Buzz
         samples. Personal information
                                           conversations are. Buzz is the topic of this month's
         has been removed for obvious

                                           One additional note... is now accepting
         Gmail Account
                                           workshop dates for the 2011-2012 academic year. If you are
         Buzz Settings
                                           interested in having us conduct student, parent or faculty
         Buzz Setup
                                           workshops, please contact us via email or our phone
         Buzz Profile
                                           (413-214-1225). Here is an article about our recent visit to
         Buzz discussion 1
                                           the Hotchkiss School to conduct workshops.
         Buzz discussion 2

                                           As always we welcome your comments and suggestions.
              Related Resources:           Best wishes,
                                           Marje Monroe and Doug Fodeman
         Coincidentally, the good folks
         at just        Contact Marje or Doug via email at
         released their March 3rd or for
         newsletter with an article that
                                           information about our programs or consulting services.
         addresses the risks associated
         with lack of privacy online.
         It is worth reading and                        What's the Buzz About Buzz?
         reviewing their "ten tips for
         protecting personal               This year we have been hearing about the growing
         information."                     popularity of Google Buzz accounts amongst

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         Windows Secrets personal           fourth through sixth graders at many schools
         security baseline By Jan           across the country. "Buzz" is an online social
         Bultmann                           networking site (similar to Facebook and
                                            MySpace) that is automatically provided to anyone
                                            with a Google Gmail account. Gmail accounts are
         Marian Merritt, a Norton           free and it takes just a minute to open an
         Internet Safety Advocate with      account. Gmail is an outstanding service, valued
         Symantec Corporation, recently     by many. However, most parents don't realize
         made three good suggestions        that if they choose to allow their child a Gmail
         for better protection of
                                            account, they are also providing instant
         Facebook accounts. They are:
                                            messaging, chat and a social network account
         1. Register multiple email         with it. Google also provides instant messaging
         addresses on your Facebook         and chat services to all their Gmail users.
         account and select a security
         question and answer that only      Like any social network, Gmail users have the
         you will know. A helpful
                                            ability to carry on threaded discussions with other
         Facebook tool to do this and
                                            users. The service makes it easy to create a
         rate your security level is
         located here.                      public profile, invite other Gmail users to follow
                                            and participate in conversations. Many children
         2. On your Facebook account,       use Gmail for their email accounts, and by
         go to "Account" (top right         extension, Buzz.
         hand corner) and click the
         down arrow until more options
                                            One of the most worrisome problems associated
         appear. Click on "Account
         Settings." Near the bottom of
                                            with the use of Buzz is that the discussions on
         the page is "Account Security."    Buzz are completely public and searchable using
         Click on "change." Select          Google. Typically, all that is needed to locate a
         "Secure Browsing (https) by        user is the user's Gmail account name.
         clicking on the box. Then select   Unfortunately, as is often the case with children
         both email and text message
                                            using social networking sites, the discussions that
         alerts for any new logins. Click
                                            a few children have are vulgar, denigrating and
         "Save." [Our note: This will
         protect users from sidejacks       create a very negative impression about them.
         which were made possible by        Due to children's lack of understanding about
         the release of Firesheep in        privacy, they often post too much personal
         October, 2010.]                    information. An example of this is provided here.
                                            This young Buzz user listed herself as ten years
         3. Any evidence of hacked
                                            old and provided a list of the schools she
         accounts should be reported to
         Facebook immediately by filling     attended, her church, and the names of her
         out the form found here.           siblings, as well as friends' names. (We have
                                            wiped some of the information for obvious

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         iPhone Config Utility:
         Though not related to this         If a child has a Gmail account we recommend that
         month's topic, we have
                                            parents log into their account and explore their
         recently learned about a new
         app for the iPhone and iPod
                                            use of Buzz and Chat. Ask your child for the
         Touch that gives parents some      account name and password. You may also want
         controls over their children's     to Google their name (or nickname) to see what
         use of the iPhone and iPod         can be viewed in a typical search. Visit
         Touch. And it is free!    and enter the words "google profile
                                            CHILDS NAME" (without the quotes). Sometimes
         iPhone Config Utility allows        finding them can take a bit of time and creativity
         users to authorize the
                                            to think of how they might be naming
         installation of applications on
         an iPhone/Touch and other          themselves. It may be easier to find their Gmail
         features. It is not the most       account by simply opening the web browser on
         "user friendly" app but don't      their computer and looking through their history
         let that stop you. It can be set   or by looking for their friends' names.
         up via Windows or Mac (OS
         10.6) computers. Though
                                            While it is possible to disable Buzz and Chat from
         designed for businesses,
         several features are valuable to
                                            a Gmail account, the user of that account can
         parents who's children have        re-enable it. Also, it is important to understand
         these devices. See a               that it is possible to use Buzz from today's
         screenshot.                        smartphones so a user can hide their activity on
                                            their computer by signing up for a new account
                                            and using it from a mobile device such as an iPad,
                                            iPod Touch, or Smartphone. Also, note that the
          � Children Online 2011
                                            default setting of the chat feature of a Gmail
            Doug Fodeman & Marje
                                            account is to save chats so they can be searched
          For permission to reprint         later.
               please contact           We have provided links to several screen shots
                                            (see sidebar) so parents can see what/where a
                                            buzz account is in Gmail and where the disable
             INTERNET SAFETY
               CURRICULUM                   button can be found. Clicking "disable" brings the
                                            user to all the settings tabs for all Gmail account
         Safe                               features. These settings are worth exploring.
         for Life                           As we have written about in other newsletters, we
                                            do not recommend that children have social

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                                                  networking accounts until age sixteen. We have
         Children                                 written several newsletters for parents on this
         Online has
                                                  topic if you would like further information,
                                                  including this special article on the topic. Keep in
         on Internet Safety that                  mind that before age sixteen, most children and
         includes nearly 100 student              young teens are not developmentally ready for the
         exercises and lots of                    decision-making issues that arise in social
         information on many topics               networking sites. And Google Buzz is a social
         including social networks,               networking site that demands attention and
         instant messaging,
                                                  careful screening from parents.
         cyberbullying, online
         marketing, scams directed at
         kids, protecting privacy online,
         avoiding identity theft and
         impersonation, creating strong                                  About Children Online
         passwords and more.                      Children Online offers innovative and comprehensive workshops
                                                  on Internet safety and online education to students, parents,
                              There is            faculty and administrators. Our approach, unique in the field of
                              also a              Internet safety, combines a thorough understanding of Internet
                              student             technologies, child development and counseling, to focus on the
                                                  impact of the internet on the social, emotional and language
                                                  development of young people.
                              includes            Doug Fodeman and Marje Monroe, experts in technology,
                              cartoons            counseling and education, work together to provide invaluable
                              and "Did            research and tools for parents and schools with practical real-life
                              you know"           solutions to the issues faced by young people online. Since 1997,
                              sections of         Marje and Doug have spoken to thousands of students, teachers
         interesting facts for students.          and parents. They have several publications in the area of Internet
                                                  safety and offer a free online newsletter. More detailed information
                                                  can be found at
         To learn more or place an
         order visit our publications
         page at or
         go directly to our publisher's
          Teacher's Edition at ISTE
          Student Edition at

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