Apparently all the kids are increasingly using interweb sites like Facebook and MySpace as a method of communication and interaction.
The solution proposed to the dangers lurking on such sites? “an internet equivalent of a driving test for children.”
Facebook is a “security nightmare” and children using it and other sites should undergo the internet equivalent of a driving test, the British government has been told.
Labour’s Lord Mitchell said the popular social networking site needed improved security measures as weaknesses allowed an “open season for the bad guys”.
It was now being used by university admissions departments and potential employers to find out information about applicants.
Lord Mitchell also told the Lords that computer manufacturers had a “duty” to inform children about the dangers posed by the internet and said youngsters needed more guidance and protection.
He said: “There has been a explosion in social networking, most particularly Facebook.
“It is ubiquitous, the word Facebook has now joined Googled amongst the young vocabulary.
“But Facebook is a security nightmare. It is easy to access sites and it is open season for the bad guys.
“I am told university admission departments in this country access Facebook to check out new students and recruiters trawl thorough these sites in an attempt to find out more about potential job applicants.
“Facebook needs to do more to protect its customers. Government needs to be more aware of the dangers.”
Peers were debating a report on personal internet security by the Lords Science and Technology Committee
It called for “comprehensive and reliable data” about the scale of the problem of electronic crime, saying it was “fundamental” to promoting public confidence in the internet.
Lord Mitchell said: “Now more than ever I believe computer manufacturers have a duty to inform the public and the children of the dangers of inappropriate internet use.
“Children should be able to access tuition programmes on their computers which tell them about internet etiquette, usage and dangers.
“I believe there should be an internet equivalent of a driving test for children.”