The Undercover Parent

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Summary “The undercover parent”
By Harlan Coben

“The Undercover Parent” an article written by Harlan Coben was published on March 16, 2008 in The New York Times. It talks about installing spyware on home computers to let parents monitor their kids while they are surfing on the internet. The author tries to convince readers that monitoring children on the computer helps to protect them against danger and it is not an invasion of their privacy. Access to the Internet and the Web can pose hazards for young kids and it also provides a big challenge for their parents. Kids using the Internet can be vulnerable to sexual predators that use the Internet to get their victims and they can also be affected by visiting sites that are pornographic. Parents face the difficult option of having to monitor with the help of special software (spyware which is provides weekly and daily reports based on kids activities through the Internet and the Web) the activity of their kids on the computer or trusting that their kids make the right choices. Parents do not want their kids to think that they are spying on them and might try to talk to their kids about the dangers they face when they go online, or they might use software that block access to dangerous sites. But these options will not prevent the kids from having a conversation about a dangerous topic in an Internet chat room.

There are many examples of unsafe environments on the Internet and the Web that might kids may face. A young boy unintentionally chatted with a pedophile, or a girl was cyberbullied to such an extent that she committed suicide, or the daughter of the author’s friend who chatted on line with her drug dealer and slept with him. Once a parent realizes that their kid is having an inappropriate conversation or is involved in a dangerous activity then they can have a talk with their child about the dangers they are facing and to come up with a solution. Parents have to resort to spyware to monitor...
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