Question: “Do you think I should let my teenage boy have his own computer in his room? He’s 16 and responsible but with all the dangers and new things kids are doing with the internet I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, what do you think?” – Frank, OH

Answer: NO!  Your teen is responsible, and probably even trustworthy..but in all reality, if you dangle the temptation in front of his nose, eventually, he’ll probably bite.  If you get him his own computer, maybe set the rules.  Tell him that he can use it when he’s in the family room, or somewhere where he is not secluded.  You don’t want to think that this is a problem, but statistics show that:

•Every second, 28,258 internet users are viewing porn.
•Every second, 372 internet users are searching adult terms into search engines.”
(http://bit.ly/Yxe8)Anonymous, 18, OH

Answer: “Honestly, I don’t think that’s a good idea at all. Even the most responsible 16 year boy still has a lot of conflicting interests going on in his body. You want to give him chances to show his maturity, but not by setting him up for failure. Computers can also be black holes of time for teens with sites like facebook and youtube being so popular.
The only way I would say this is a good idea is if it’s on the basis of being a school computer or an outlet for another hobby of his(such as writing, graphic design, web design, etc.) and it comes with some hefty filtering software.”
– Anonymous

Answer: “I don’t think that it’s a bad idea with the right protection, there are programs online that can let you see what your son is doing and what sites he’s visiting. You can explain to him that this isn’t about you spying on him and an issue of his privacy, but to protect him from doing things he shouldn’t that will effect his future and that it is a safeguard for him. My mom used Cybersitter which tracked where I went online and at what time and blocked content and pages based on what my mom decided was appropriate, and a friend of mine had an accountability program that sent and email every 2 weeks that told his accountability partners what sites he’s visited. there are plenty of other programs out there just like it so I’m sure you can find one that can help you feel at ease. When picking the program, make sure you read the reviews on it and research it before you download it though.”Ryan, 16, OH

Answer: “We have 2 laptops at my house. My parents trust me not to do anything, but at times I leave the computer in my family room for a day or so, so that my parents can relax a bit. See I have an email and my parents are connected to my email. They can get into my email at any time and see what is going on, because most websites you go on, they need your email. Even if i deleted something, my parents can still get to it. I also have a page, I’m friends with my parents because i don’t want them to think that i have something to hide. I don’t have anything to hide so i let them look through my pictures just so that they can feel that they’re apart of my life and know that i’m not up to know good.” Kely, 15, OH