Most used Internet Technologies and applications by kids
High Level review of technologies in use
This article's main objective is to make a high-level review of all technologies currently used by kids.
The internet is growing in complexity every day. The network can be used in so many different ways that it is difficult to keep track of new developments.
Nowadays, kids can mainly use the following group of on-line applications or sites, with some associated risk:
Browsers - like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and others;
What is this stuff: this software is able to fetch web page contents for visualization.
Risks associated: users can use them to look for mature/violent content or they can surf in malicious web sites than can transmit virus or some dangerous code.
Chat Programs - MSN, Orkut, Mirc, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, and others;
What is this stuff: there are tons of applications like this, but they all serve the same purpose: meeting and talking to other people in social networks. Some have servers with chat rooms or discussion groups. For others you must connect directly to a person, with a contact that has been given to you.
Risks associated: this networks are mainly anonymous, so you don´t really know who is chatting with you and what are their intentions.
File sharing applications - Azureus, Limewire, BitComet, Emule, BitTorrent, and others;
What is this stuff: with this applications you can download all kind of files, from music to movies, images, games and any kind of software.
Risks associated: the downloaded files might have mature content associated. The downloads can be illegal due to copyright laws and can bring virus or malicious code.
Social networking sites - Hi5, Facebook, Friendster, and others;
What is this stuff: in this kind of sites people can create a profile (who are you, what are your interests, where do you live...) and connect to other people, creating social networks.
Risks associated: you can easily expose too much private information and connect to people you really don't know.
On-line Games - Second Life, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Team Fortress, among others;
What is this stuff: these are games in which the characters interact with each other, engaging in conversation and actions.
Risks associated: some of the games might have mature or violent content, and you are interacting with people you don't know.
Conclusion: There are other technologies but this article covered the main groups in use with the greatest risk associated. This programs and sites can be very useful and fun, but their misuse can certainly pose serious risks.