keeping kids safe online - issue #4 - illegal downloading

312692685_c0fdcf8b55_m.jpgNote: This is an on going part of a look at six issues that we face in keeping our children and students safe online. We'll be looking at the issue, discussing some solutions and recommending some free and commercial software that can help protect the children you work with online.

The issue: Illegal Downloading

Many legal places exist to buy digital music and movies, such as iTunes and Amazon's unbox. However there are countless sites and ways to access software without paying for it. Children who know how to download software and music illegally can often download thousands of songs before being noticed. Regardless of our beliefs on copyright law, downloading illegally puts you at risk for massive lawsuits and possibly prison time.

Solutions:

- Talk to your children about the ethics and issues in illegal downloading. - Filtering software can help block illegal sites, as well as keep a log of visited sites that can be checked to see where your child is going online. - Remember, you're working to instill practices that will keep your children safe after they leave your home. Work to instill an integrity in your child to respect copyright laws - no matter how easy it is to break them, how little the chance to be caught may be, and no matter what the benefit to them might be. While many might believe copyright laws are outdated and need to be updated in this digital age we live in, your children should be taught to follow the law or be prepared to pay the consequences.