Parents really need to wake up and start paying attention to what their kids are doing online. Just last month, we all learned about the convicted pedophile who posed as a teen pop star online in an attempt to get teen girls to send nude pictures.
West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) August 21, 2012
ParentingTodaysKids.com, powered by SpectorSoft Corporation, the leader in computer and mobile device monitoring and analysis software, today announced Tommy Jordan – who made news by shooting his daughter’s laptop and then chronicling the saga in a video online – has joined parentingtodayskids.com as a regular columnist.
Lisa Shaw, Editor of ParentingTodaysKids.com, described the association with Jordan as an “editorial coup,” adding: “Parents really need to wake up and start paying attention to what their kids are doing online. Just last month, we all learned about the convicted pedophile who posed as a teen pop star online in an attempt to get teen girls to send him nude pictures of themselves. Unfortunately, it worked and close to 200 teen girls sent him explicit pictures and videos. Parents can come to ParentingTodaysKids and find solace … find help … and find Tommy Jordan talking about reality … the reality of parenting at the intersection of technology and kids. If you’re ready to start talking about what it takes to help keep your kids safe today, please check out Tommy Jordan’s column at http://www.ParentingTodaysKids.com.”
Tommy Jordan, Concerned Parent
Jordan, a seemingly mild-mannered social media guru, Internet programmer, and owner of an IT firm, also wears the hat of a concerned parent of a teen. A fourth-generation carpenter possessed of a green-thumb and a love of gardening, guns, and all things Southern, he embodies old-world Southern charms and tries his best to raise his children with those same mannerisms. He says yes ma’am, and no ma’am, please and thank you and believes in opening doors for your elders. Most of the time spent with his kids is either “out in the back yard” gardening, building new toys or projects in the woodshop, or teaching them how to shoot rifles, pistols, and even bow and arrow.
Like millions of other parents of modern teens, his daughter has(d) a laptop. While upgrading it for her new high-school curriculum, he also set up the usual parental controls used by many of the rest of us. He’s a good dad – honest, hopeful, and protective. And that’s why when, at a time he was growing concerned with online safety and his daughter balked at his parental authority, he found himself in his backyard, pistol in hand, repeatedly spewing frustration and bullets at the laptop computer.
Over The Top?
Crazy parent? Frustrated? Over-the-top? Maybe.
Or maybe he already tried other means to stop potential pedophiles or worse from luring his innocent daughter into a harrowing situation that would affect her life forever. Maybe he realized that parental control buttons serve only to make parents think they've done our duties to protect their kids – lulling us into a stupor. Maybe it was an overly physical demonstration of parental fear in response to a kid’s natural lack of understanding of what’s out there. Maybe he didn’t know what else to do to stop the people who would harm his family by invading his home and life.
The Rest Is History
As many readers well remember, Jordan filmed the entire scene. After the video landed on YouTube, it made the national network rounds and Tommy Jordan was guest on many news shows, explaining himself. While some parents disapproved of his methods, many agreed they are handicapped and ill-equipped to keep predators out of their kids’ computers, phones, and other handheld devices. Since then Mr. Jordan has embarked upon an eye-opening education about all things online and safety.
Jordan has learned that while his actions were strong, he’s not alone in feeling vulnerable and incapable of protecting his own family. He has talked to hundreds of thousands of concerned parents and uncovered some very real and actionable steps all parents can take to keep danger out of their homes.
“I felt useless, unable to protect her – it was overwhelming,” Jordan said. “Since then I’ve learned that I’m not alone. Most parents are scared out of their minds and have no idea what to do, so they just pretend nothing bad could happen to their kids. It’s horrible, but the Internet is so large it makes us feel small and defenseless. Well, we’re not anymore.”
Shaw Fires Her Own Salvo
While not about to take gun in hand and fire bullets into one of her family’s technology devices, Shaw nonetheless unleashed a powerful salvo of her own, saying “We are at the mercy of smarter, devious people who have one purpose – to prey on our kids. How do you stop them? How do you even recognize them when they pretend to be younger and use online speak? Would you even know what you were reading if you were to log on to your kids’ accounts right now? Most of it is in code. How would you know?”
“How do you stop someone who is online and talking to your kids – pretending they are the same age with the same interests when they are really someone older, with evil intentions? How do you know for sure? As a Harvard MBA, Sr. Director of Online Safety at SpectorSoft, Editor of ParentingTodaysKids.com – and a mother of five – I can relate to Tommy. Even though our backgrounds and life stories are different, we forever share a commonality – we are both parents who want our kids to be safe and sound. I have been just as nervous and frustrated by the lack of real support and guidance when it comes to keeping my five safe online – we all should be. Luckily, I have the tools at ParentingTodaysKids to help me finally have peace of mind.”
Shaw continued: “As parents we see our kids on Facebook every day, either at the actual computer, or posting from their phones. It’s harmless teen chatter we tell ourselves … I mean, who really cares if they share pictures of their prom or the sports scores. But have you ever noticed how many ‘friends’ your kids have? Most teens have multiple hundred friends. Have you had all these friends over for dinner or homework? No, you haven’t. And the reason for that is because nobody has six hundred friends. The name of the game is having lots of friends on Facebook and teens feel pressured to accept anyone and everyone who messages them. The more friends the better. This is how predators get in…they pretend to be a teen girl or boy and befriend your kid. That’s it. Once they’re in, they have access to everything your kid and your kids’ friends post.”
Jordan Fights Back
“Now take two minutes to look at what your kids (and their friends) are posting,” notes Jordan. “Things like full names, home addresses, phone numbers, parents name and phone numbers, exact time and dates that they are going out and exact locations, details on when vacations are coming up and when the house will be empty. Specific information on where they go to school or play volleyball or work part-time. Photos of themselves, their friends, their cars, their schools, you and your family.”
"That means there are potential pedophiles, stalkers or worse that can sit by their computer and read what your kid is doing today and tonight. They can sift thru photos, download them, print them out and use them for any purpose. They can comment on the posts and send messages to your kids and even talk to them in real time – becoming a ‘real’ friend to them. They can arm themselves with very specific and personal information and then ‘bump into’ your kid at their school or friend’s house or local hangout and know all the right words and have all the right phrases to win your kids’ trust."
And that’s why ParentingTodaysKids.com has partnered with Jordan to talk to real parents about real kids and what they’re really doing online.
“My entire goal with ParentingTodaysKids is to be a real parent, with real kids and real online fears,” said Jordan. “I want to tell parents the truth … what they really need to know and look for and watch out for and what to do if something happens. Let’s face it, you’re scared. I’m scared. Our kids don’t have a clue what’s out there. It’s our job to tell them. We have to keep them safe, right? It’s time to wake up, parents. If you don’t know who your kids are talking to online – and I mean really know them – you’re just as much to blame if something happens. Yes, that’s right. That’s what I’ll talk about every week.”
To learn more from Tommy Jordan about how to protect your kids online, go to his Facebook page or http://www.8minutesoffame.com.
ParentingTodaysKids.com is being heralded as the destination site for parents, teachers, extended family, and organizations concerned about the safety of our youth. ParentingTodaysKids.com focuses on issues plaguing children and families today, featuring up-to-the-minute news, help, and solutions from experts and other parents. Go to ParentingTodaysKids.com.
About Lisa Shaw
Shaw, a mother of five and Harvard MBA, is SpectorSoft's Senior Director of Child Online Safety where she assists in driving innovation and evangelizing the need to protect children in today's digital world. She also serves as Editor for ParentingTodaysKids.com, utilizing her expertise on the technology and trends you need to arm parents with the information they need.
About SpectorSoft Corporation
SpectorSoft monitoring solutions keep children safe online by providing parents the tools to monitor and record their children’s computer, online and mobile device activity. The information gathered can be used to track, manage and notify parents of potentially dangerous situations. More than 900,000 consumers and 160,000 businesses, government organizations, schools, and law enforcement agencies have purchased SpectorSoft products to help protect children, manage risk, prevent data loss and address compliance mandates. For more information, visit http://www.spectorsoft.com.