How Safe is the Internet?

by : Rosalyn Bronstein

The Internet was originally designed in 1969 as a convenient way for scientists to communicate. Decades later, when PCs were beginning to become popular, the Internet was viewed as a wonder tool by many. There weren’t the vast array of millions and millions of web pages to surf, and e-mail was a simple matter to send and receive. The commercial implications were only slowly beginning to emerge.

As its popularity grew, so did the opportunities for exploitation. Increasing numbers of Internet marketers saw the value in capturing e-mail addresses and sending out their advertising. This led to excessive spam, which has totally spiraled out of control, and the need for opt-in e-mail lists.

Concurrent with the spread of spam, the expansion of pornography sites and related unpleasantness exploded online. These sites could be found everywhere, and it wasn’t necessary to search for them – their owners brought them to anyone’s monitor, regardless of age. Along with this came the advertisements for sexual products and services, scams of every description, chat room predators, disruptive computer viruses, and the list goes on and on. Not exactly the sort of environment one would want for impressionable youth or someone’s granny.

More and more people feel that there needs to be some options for those who want to use the Internet without having to endure a negative experience. Perhaps a closed site, where only those invited to join would be allowed? The site would need to be easy to use, with nothing to download. It would have to be a place free of predatory behavior, free of unwanted advertising and annoyance, where users – and especially children --could interact in safety. .

The site would have to be password protected, with a high level of security. Family and friends should be able to send messages privately and securely, and display photos in picture albums and post notices on bulletin boards. Being family oriented, there should be a way to send e-cards and announcements to acknowledge special occasions (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.) remembered on the site. It would be useful to have private chat rooms for everyone to keep current on the latest family news. This, indeed, would be a place where memories and family history could be created and preserved.

Would you visit a web site that made it easy and fun to communicate with family and friends and that had no advertising, no pop-ups or pop-underFree Reprint Articles, and no one interfering with your family members? Does such a web site exist?