It's Moshi Monsters. Where you can adopt your own pet monster. What? You've never heard of it? What are you ... stuck back in 2011?
They BEGGED me to let them hop onto my antiquated, barely-able-to-work-anymore Dell laptop, and sign up.
And I let them. Because I'm totally cool with them crapping it up, knowing full well that
Anyway, over the past month the girls have been playing Moshi Monsters. They came up with their own names. Own passwords. They found all their neighborhood and school friends online. And, as the website clearly states on their home page, they even found and began chatting with "new friends", with my one request that they don't befriend anyone with the word "sexy" in their name.
Can you see where I'm going with this??
I never gave any thought to the potential dangers of these online games until Riley woke me up at 6 am Monday morning (still a holiday, remember?) and told me that she couldn't sleep because she's been very bothered and had something to tell me. She said that when she was at a neighbor's house on Saturday playing Moshi Monsters, she received correspondence from one of her online friends who asked her more personal information about herself. The neighbor saw this and told her to lie ... suggesting Riley tell this person saying that she is really only 7 years old and has a older brother. Which she did.
However, Riley, who carries the burden of the world on her young little shoulders, felt uber guilty about lying and told me she hasn't slept well in two days because of it. She wanted to know if she could get back onto the computer and tell this "online friend" that she lied to her and clear the air.
WOW. Not quite what I was expecting ...
Obviously my girls have absolutely NO awareness of how much information that they can / can't provide to people they don't now. Nor is it a topic that they've covered at school.
So I now ask ... How did you explain to your kids that fibbing and evading questions from people online is acceptable when you've punished them for doing it to you? How did you explain that sometimes people aren't who they really say they are, and sometimes there are horrible people in the world?
Moreover, how would YOU explain cyber security to a second and third grader?