Recently a story went viral about a Canadian 35 week pregnant trauma surgeon that was in a head on accident who died shortly after giving birth to her baby. Hearts all over the world were breaking as this tragic story unfolded. We all got swept up into the sadness (me included) that most of us did not stop to verify the story or even think it odd as the husband posted joyous pictures of the surviving baby that looked too old to be a 5lb preemie. After a day long hunt a group of bloggers lead by one in particular tracked this all down to a fabrication made up by one person. A child, 17 or 18 years old now that started this very detailed and intricate story that grew into a monster years before at the age of 11.
I was simply stunned, I thought back to the years with my children. Internet was new to me I am a child of the 60's where none of this existed.I learned early on with my pubescent son that teens could not be trusted on the internet alone. PERIOD I learned how to lock down the computer tight until I was home even going so far as to remove all the power cords and only inserting them when I could sit by and make sure that it was homework being researched.
My children were not allowed to play games or be on social sites until they were 16 and then only if I had the passwords. And yes I snooped, I dug through trash and if they cleaned out the cache they were banned. They tested and never won. I limited their time on the computer to a half hour a day and only when I was home and I always checked the history... if it was erased they were banned. This is how I kept up with my kids and the internet.
When I heard of Uknowkids and what they do I could only think that if this girls parents had this sort of tool, they could have and would have been able to handle the situation before it got this far. This child had way too much alone time to dream up a world such as she did. It included over 40 fake identities, stolen pictures and fabricated illnesses. She even had charity sites and sent out arm bands. She did a lot of research to get it right so she even fooled people with medical backgrounds. Where was mom and dad? WHERE? They let the internet be the family and support, strangers who reached out and loved this child in her make believe world. Shame on the parents....don't let this happen to you, kids will test and they will try but you have to love them enough to not be their buddy sometimes. You have to have the tools to be able to dig in and find out. Because the parent that says my child would not do that is wrong, think back to your youth... what did you do that your parents never knew? In todays world the threats are greater, kids know too much and are exposed to things I did not know about until I was in my 30's.
You can find out more of what Uknowkids has to offer on their web site I was supposed to have a free trial but it wanted me to pay and I no longer have small children at home so I did not. I can not endorse what it actually does. But I do endorse what it is there to do.
Disclaimer: I did not receive any service so this is not a review. It is my opinion that this is a valuable tool for anyone with children at home. All opinions are my own.