Online safety takes center stage

Monterey Corps hosts educational seminar for parents.


The ability of the internet to unite, inform and bring people together is unmatched. Many see its impact on human progress as second only to the invention of the printing press. And like many world-changing innovations before it, its power can be used for good or for evil. This is a tool that reflects the character of its user.

“You are an internet parent.”

That is the message that John Carosella of Blue Coat Technologies recently conveyed during a talk at the Monterey Peninsula Corps in the Golden State Division, during which he not only explored the hazards of the internet but also provided tools for staying in control of it.

Today’s parents desperately need to understand the web, but too often fear it instead. The Golden State Division’s campaign to educate and inform has already brought useful insights to hundreds, and continues to reach people throughout the division and beyond.

The facts are heartbreaking: children of all ages are confronted with the harshest realities of our fallen world when they roam unsupervised through the web, yet lack of supervision remains the norm.

Threats are not limited to child predators. Kids who use the internet experience pornographic content designed to lure adults, promotion of immoral lifestyles, bullying and hate speech. Children have 24-hour access to the outside world through a door that is rarely locked, and through which complete strangers are invited into homes they’ve never seen.

Campaigning to repeal the freedoms we now enjoy, such as access to information, educational resources, communications and entertainment would be pointless. The world is growing more dependent on this planetary network of computers—we just need parents who can understand it.

“Parental authority extends to the computer,” said Carosella, who, through his speaking engagements, is educating parents, pastors, youth leaders and teachers on how to recognize the threats and how to protect kids from them.

One effective tool is his company’s K9 Web Protection, which uses the same technology that major corporations pay for, yet is offered to individuals and families without charge. It gives the computer owner easy, intuitive control over internet access through a filtering and logging program.

“It’s a simple solution, but it isn’t foolproof,” warns Carosella. In his presentation at the corps, he mentioned the easiest way for a child to circumvent a filter: “simply go next door, where there is no filter!”

Parents’ wishes to protect their kids online must compel action within the community. When people try K9 and see how effective it is, they will want to spread the word—and will insist that their kids have the benefit of filtering software wherever they have a connection to the web.

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