What is Wireless?

Wireless refers to the ability to communicate using electromagnetic waves rather than a cable or cord. Examples of wireless technology include remote garage door openers, cell phones & pagers, global positioning systems (GPS), handheld devices, (including video game systems), and computers.

What are the Concerns with Wireless Technology?

Cell phones and personal handheld devices (PDA’s) often come with the ability to text message, take photos and videos and record audio. This can raise many issues regarding privacy and other issues which have been addressed previously in this booklet. Like the Internet, wireless tools require some level of caution for safe and appropriate use. A specific worry of wireless technologies or toys concern the use in public places. Children using wireless technologies in a public place can be located by strangers who have a wireless locator.

What Can A Parent Do?

Prior to buying wireless toys for your children, read the packaging for any warning or parental advice such as age appropriateness. Also look for any information in the documentation about control options.

Should I Have Concerns About My Wireless Home Network?

Wardriving refers to people who drive around with a mobile device, looking for a signal from an unprotected wireless network. If you have a wireless network, and it is not password protected, it is possible for someone else to use your system to connect to the Internet and possibly gain access to information you have stored on your computer.

How Can I Protect My Wireless Network?

There are steps you can take to protect your wireless network from intruders. If you’re not sure how, ask someone to help you. A good place to start is with the person who installed your wireless network.

Sexting

Sexting is a consequence of advances in technology enabling new forms of social interaction. Messages with sexual content have been exchanged over all forms of historical media. Newer technology allows photographs and videos, which are intrinsically more explicit and have greater impact. A social danger with sexting is that material can be very easily and widely spread, over which the originator has no control. So what can be done?

Here are a couple of tips for parents:

  1. The first step is communicating with teens about the risks of sharing “embarrassing” pictures of themselves with anyone, especially via cell phone or online. Remind them that the only way to keep embarrassing pictures from getting into the wrong hands is to not have them in the first place. Ask them how they would feel if they got into a fight with a friend or boyfriend and those pictures ended up being sent around school, or how they feel if their own parents got them.
  2. Do what you can to prevent the pictures from being taken or sent via the cell phone. Determine and discuss family cell phone rules. Using a cell phone is a learning experience. Explain to your child that you will be checking their phone from time to time to make sure they are using it appropriately.
  3. Be aware of all the sites your child visits regularly and check profiles for anything that could endanger them.