A New Jersey Police Chief, James Batelli, has an interesting (and intrusive) theory on what to do with teens and their online life: Use keystroke-recording software on their computers so you can figure out their Facebook password. Then you can presumably snoop and poke around as much as you want. He claims that the software is very easy to install and that “your children don’t know it’s there.” I think he’s crazy.
Sure, at a certain age, it’s good idea to protect children from the dark corners of the Internet. You can do that by maybe blocking offensive websites or building his (or her) interests in outdoor sports or anything but stealing from your kid. They won’t trust you after!
Also, once they grow older into their teens? You’re only lying to yourself. They know everything already. Treating your kid smart and honest is much more effective than using kid gloves and doing something duplicitous as trying to steal their passwords. Blocking certain websites, fine. Stealing passwords, too much. Trust that you’ve raised a good kid. [NBC News via Geekosystem]