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Internet Safety On My Mind

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by MoochNNoodles, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Thread Starter TCS Member Veteran

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    Where my cats are
    This might be a tad heavy for The Lounge but I think this is the best place for this. I know a lot of us have made friendships here and I'm certainly one of them. We've seen a lot of good done on the TCS but the longer I'm on the internet and the longer I'm a mother the more this topic really makes me think long and hard.

    I'm mostly wearing my MOM hat at the moment. I've run into several situations lately where I'm really surprised at people's lack of awareness of Internet Safety. Especially people with kids!! I am SO reluctant to let my kids on the internet yet. I don't know how or when that will happen.

    Even when you KNOW what can go on; sometimes stuff still happens. A friend of mine hasn't been able to share all the details; but I know she had to go to the police with her young teenage daughter and get her a new phone and everything. I got the feeling she was being harassed and not by another kid. :eek2: Thankfully they have a good, open relationship and she knew she should and could go to her mom about it! :(

    Then you hear stories about this online games like Minecraft and Fortnite being used by predators to lure kids. It's way too easy for a 13 year old to come online and "make friends" but really it's a creepy old opportunistic man on the other side of the computer.

    Adults get deceived like this plenty often too so I know it's not just a kid/parent issue. People will put lots of time and effort into creating their online personality. It's easy when you are hidden behind a keyboard. I've heard too many stories about people grooming vulnerable people. :angryfire: Even if they aren't after someones life savings; emotional manipulation is no joke either. :headshake:

    So I'll just be over here trying to decide how to handle something my parents sure never had to worry about when I was a kid! :ohwell:
     
    maggiedemi, foxxycat and Margret purraised this.

  2. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    My son plays Fortnite and has had kids (10-13) want to play with him. Fortunately, he's not a creep and just likes to game, but he is an adult. I would be concerned if i was the younger kids mother. (not about my son, about the kid talking to an adult he doesn't know).
    On the other hand, he also plays with someone from Norway and is learning yet another language. So there are pros and cons to this.
    I personally won't tell anything I don't want known.

    But as a mother, I see your point.
     
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  3. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Thread Starter TCS Member Veteran

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    Where my cats are
    I guess I feel like I basically have to train my kids to be suspicious. I think it would bother me less if someone is forthright about their age. It's just too easy to lie online.

    Online dating doesn't apply to raising kids; but it's another good example. Several years ago my cousin was dating someone and he broke up with her to date another woman. Who turned out to be my 3rd cousin on the other side of my family. As bad as that was; she decided to try online dating and ended up meeting a guy for coffee who ended up also being my 3rd cousin and the brother of the woman her ex dumped her for. :doh: That ended quickly and harmlessly. It was almost comedic. But I definitely caught him in some lies he had told her. :nono:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
    Margret purraised this.

  4. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

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    I've been on Twitter quite a bit lately. My profile does state that I'm in my mid-60s (exact age can be identity theft information so I don't post it), and that I've been married for over 40 years. People on Twitter know my first and last name, and can see a picture of me with Roger and Jasmine - the same one you can find in my profile here - and that's pretty much it, though I've made no secret of the fact that I live in Colorado.

    And I've had Direct Messages on Twitter from two men seeking a romantic relationship with me. One of them asked me for my cell phone number, and refused to accept "No" as an answer. I blocked him (duh), but now I'm beginning to wonder whether I should also have reported him for harassment. What do you guys think?

    Margret
     

  5. Norachan

    Norachan Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting that Fortnite has been mentioned. I had no idea what that was until recently. So here's a slightly edited story one of my students told me.

    She's a surgeon at a hospital in Japan, she has her work e-mail as well as personal e-mail and mainly uses the work e-mail address while on her office PC. The other day she received an e-mail from herself. When she opened it the message was something like;

    "Hi there, allow me to introduce myself. I play Fortnite under the name Darklord and I hacked into your PC 6 months ago. I have access to all of the contacts in your address book. I've also been monitoring what you do on this computer, as well as filming you through your webcam.

    I've been very interested to see some of the adult sites you visit. Boy, you have some wild tastes, don't you?

    I have taken screen shots of these sites and I'm going to send them, along with the film I made of you, to everyone in your address book. If you don't want me to do this send me 1 million yen in Bitcoins to the following address."

    Naturally she asked the hospital IT team to take a look and they told her to just ignore it. The webcam on her PC has been taped over and the only sites she ever browses are medical ones, or sites about horse riding and dogs. (Her two hobbies)

    We had a laugh about someone trying to blackmail her over videos such as "Dressage Masterclass. How to improve your sitting trot." or "Adorable puppies see snow for the first time." but it's a reminder of how cautious you have to be online.
     
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  6. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    That happened to a friend once. She got into a relationship with some guy through some online gaming site. The guy claimed to be 27 years old, a veterinarian, had a young daughter (no idea about the Mom), and lived on a farm right on the Oregon coast. My friend said she "tested" the guy to make sure he was really who he said he was (not sure what the "test" was). After some months of the relationship with lots of emails, texts, pictures sent, talking to the daughter, etc, my friend was ready to actually go meet the guy in person in Oregon on her own. I managed to convince her that it wasn't safe. Turns out that was true. I don't recall how my friend found out but the guy was middle aged, not a veterinarian, and the "daughter" was a niece or something.
     
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  7. Winchester

    Winchester TCS Member Veteran

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    In the kitchen
    I have grandchildren and I think about it often. The grands are not allowed to have cell phones yet and I'm OK with that. They do have Kindles, but are only allowed on the net with specific permission. That's fine, too. Our son won't post their pictures on FB and I'm OK with that. We don't talk about the grands on FB that often and never name names. You just don't know who's out there and what they're doing.

    I read about a 13 year old who went to her mom because male classmates were sending her pictures of their genitals. She is 13 years old! 13! It boggles my mind. My granddaughter isn't quite that old and it scares the hell out of me.
     
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  8. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Oh that's funny. I would laugh very hard if someone tried to blackmail me. Let them show all 3 of my contacts screenshots of me playing Stardew Valley or even episodes of Lost. (just re-watched the series). And I don't have a webcam.
    1 million bitcoins? That's more than the National debt. They could choose someone who actually has money.
     
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  9. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Thread Starter TCS Member Veteran

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    Where my cats are
    I can go one worse. I know the mother of a young teen whose daughter had an older boy at school break her arm. Later that year he proceeded to threaten and bully her into sending him nude photos of herself.

    Its really no wonder teen suicides have increased when bullies can follow you right home from school and work.

    One friend of mine tried an internet dating site but had an agreement with some friends that they would always go on each other's dates. They secretly sat at another table; but it gave them all a way out if things went south. I don't think any of them moved on to more than a 3rd date.
     
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  10. rgwanner

    rgwanner TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I have heard of the blackmail scam where someone threatens to show your spouse/boss the porn sites you have been on.

    I am basically a trusting person so it is hard to remember to camoflage everything online.
     
    Margret purraised this.

  11. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

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    Taping over your computer's camera is a very good idea. Beyond that, this guy was obviously phishing. "Ooh! I know what you did! I saw you!" The assumption is that everyone has something they're ashamed of and are therefore vulnerable to blackmail, but it only works if:
    • They guess right about the kind of things you've done on the computer, which makes it believable.
    • The potential victim doesn't have access to IT gurus who can tell her that it's a con.
    The thing is, people like this don't bother with making it all that believable; they rely on gullibility, put very little real effort into it, and are happy if just one percent of the people they try to con falls for it.

    As for the email claiming to come from her, that's meaningless. I get spam all the time that purports to be from me. If the recipient looks closely at it, she'll find that even though it says it's from her there's a different email address in the "From" field. It's only a result of her email being hacked if she also finds it in her "Sent" folder.

    Very good plan.

    I saw a cartoon once, a very long time ago. A dog is using a computer, and explaining to another dog, "When you're online they can't tell that you're a dog." I think a lot of people who use online dating sites are relying on this.

    Margret
     
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  12. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Thread Starter TCS Member Veteran

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    Where my cats are
    A few years ago I was reading an article about talking to your kids about strangers. They said to talk to them about "tricky people." At the time I didn't really consider that phrase in relation to using the internet. But it does seem to apply.

    I don't want to spend all my time paranoid about things. But really it is a good thing to just be aware of. Sometimes your gut will tell you something isn't right. But even when it's not; we still need to be aware.
     
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  13. AbbysMom

    AbbysMom At Abby's beck and call Staff Member Moderator

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    Not to be a big Debbie Downer, but we've certainly had incidents here on TCS of people not being who they claim to be. Some have been quieter with the Mods and only a few other members being aware of it and some have been major with Anne being interviewed for a news article about it.

    Even on here, you need to be cautious. If someone starts taking too much of in interest in you and starts asking too much personal information, you need to ask why. Not everyone is who they say they are.
     
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  14. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Thread Starter TCS Member Veteran

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    Where my cats are
    Yes even our little corner of the internet isn't immune to this. :hmmm:


    I started conversations with my kids early on about media manipulation; aka the ability to photoshop, filter, and manipulate everything. DD has gotten pretty good at noticing photoshop work on things. I will find photos and discuss them with her. I think thats part of internet safety too. I'm sure we all laugh at those photoshop fails that get shared online; but it's a good way to illustrate how people can be deceptive online.
     
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  15. foxxycat

    foxxycat TCS Member Top Cat

    Just wanted to bump this. Very good ideas here.
     
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  16. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily TCS Member Super Cat

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    I'm 20 years old now and have had many encounters online with many different individuals (being an introvert and all). I never had many friends and the ones I did have, weren't really friends at all. I won't go into details of course but sitting here and thinking back to all those times I talked to people online, I cringe really hard. I'm ashamed to say the least and I genuinely wish I hadn't met all of those people. Except for one that I met 3 years ago almost. We took things very very slow and I am happy to say today that she is my best friend. We never shared personal information from the beginning. Just plain conversation, shared interest, hobbies, etc. I didn't even know her name until about a year after we met. And it took even longer for her to trust me enough to send pictures of what she looks like.

    I've also had my fair share of encounters with online dating and I wish I could say I enjoyed it. There's just something about using apps and websites that make people more selfish in my opinion. I won't go into detail here either but everything in this article rings very loud and true: The Hardest Thing About Modern Dating Is...
     
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  17. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I am anti-social and don't get on chat sites or try to make friends online. With the exception of you wonderful people on TCS. I have only 9 friends on FB and only follow 3. I do check my FB everyday, but only to look at the lost and found pets for my area and The Daily Dalek.
    I do have friends, but not online friends. These are people I can count on, and visa versa, when it's truly needed.
     

  18. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    Thanks for bumping this thread, @foxxycat - I hadn't seen it before!

    Half a dozen years ago thereabouts, I learned some very, very valuable but painful lessons through the school of hard knocks about this topic. It's really hard when you are a person who likes to share things and support people, but you have to be so so careful and so skeptical at times. Sometimes you are right, sometimes you are wrong, when you try to follow your hunches and experience -- but being careful is worth it. Even though I still give forth some personal info despite my past experiences warning me of being too open, I've learned to go very slow with online acquaintances and interactions. I can count on one hand the people I've purposely given my name to here at TCS over the 3+ years I've been a member. (Four I trust, one I do not.) Anyway, it's sad to be so cautious, I guess, but again, some lessons are painfully learned -- so I guess I just hope that the people I do like and interact with here at TCS don't mind interacting with simply "PushPurrCatPaws". :redheartpump:
     

  19. foxxycat

    foxxycat TCS Member Top Cat

    I just wanted to say I understand everything you say @PushPurrCatPaws .

    I've never thought about my name. There's not too many people who have a name thats different and of course I never share the town I live in with people I just met online.

    I also am too honest. I expect people to be honest with me. I despise liars. I dislike people who are not honest about their living arrangements with a group who have been friends for some time. I'm not expecting people to give me their life story the first month or even 6 months.... I do know that several of my single girlfriends have been dating online people and it's not really worked out. I know many people have had good luck. It's just really hard. This world now adays is full of scammers and people who think they can manipulate people's emotions.

    My exs daughter used to give me grey hair because she dated boys from chat rooms and sometimes they broke her heart. So I've developed a bit of a hard ass in my 40s. I feel many of us here are genuinely interested in good healthy relationships with each other. There's not been too many incidents of interacts on here that made me post here. I just wanted to caution the ladies of getting ideas in their heads about individuals who they have been conversing with. To be careful not to get involved for some time until they prove themselves to be who they are.

    I used to go to dance clubs when was younger. There was a guy who I felt was handsome and we danced well together. I figured we would go on a date or whatnot. Until he refused to tell me where he lived. He knew where I lived. I said to him your married and I dont share so just go away and forget my phone number. He wouldnt confirm nor deny it. But I got warning bells that he wouldnt let me call or stop at his home...and it only lasted about 3 weeks. I wouldnt let him kiss me either. I was a slow driver and still am. So glad I listened to my instincts. Never saw the weasel ever again. :devilish: Guess he didn't like a strong woman. Tough.

    Someone said it well...dont believe everything you hear.

    I worry for my friends online who sometimes don't see the warning symbols and slow down. It is hard to not share too much especially with those of us that want to help someone....
     

  20. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    Well, for me, the 'half a dozen years ago' issue I myself experienced was about several platonic friendships I thought I was developing, not even about relationships that weren't solely platonic. I see now that this thread might be more about the latter. I am just warning about being careful about all relationships begun via online introductions, that's all.
     

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