Teenangels.org - Official Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

SMS Texting Speed Record Set!!

A 23 year old female from singapore recently set the SMS Texting ( Text Messaging on your cell phone ).

She typed a 160 Chartacter long message in seconds!!!

To see the whole story click Here

The Top Prize For This is $15,000!!! WOW

Contestants had to type this message: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." Using the cell phone's predictive text function -- which guesses words as letters are typed in -- was not allowed, and the target phrase's punctuation needed to be accurate, as well.

Justices block Internet Law!

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech.

To Read The Whole Article Click Here

If you have any comments on this article please post them to this Post!


Sunday, June 27, 2004

The World Meet 802.11i - 802.11i Meet The World

The IEEE 802.11i specification, the latest set of rules to bolster security on wireless LANs, has received final approval, according to a co-author of the standard.

The IEEE 802.11i subcommittee signed off on the standard Thursday, according to a statement from Trapeze Networks Inc. that was attributed to Dan Harkins, a software engineer at the Pleasanton, California, wireless LAN equipment vendor. Harkins was a co-author of several portions of the specification.

The specification adds the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) protocol to 802.11, which forms the basis of Wi-Fi wireless LAN technologies. AES is a stronger form of encryption than is found in the current WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) mechanism and is the security standard for wireless networks that carry U.S. government information.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has said it plans to certify products for 802.11i support beginning in September.

( Information From Infoworld.com ) Click Here to Read The Article

I think this new standard is a great move the the safety of all users of wireless :) This is great news in the 802.11 World.


Online Safety Tips For Parents - Part 2

Here is Part 2 of our online safety tips for parents.

5. Be aware of the sites your children visit, & the chat rooms they go into. As they get older, trust should build. Encourage discussions between you & your child about what they enjoy online. Always be open. Take time & visit some of these sites that they enjoy (if the children are younger).

6. Make sure that your children feel comfortable coming to you with questions. When things go wrong, don't overreact. Let them know that it's not their fault. Educate yourself on what to do when things do go wrong.

7. IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a chat program that is very different from America Online. IRC has no terms of services like AOL, so people can talk about whatever they want & are generally not restricted. This is good & bad. It is good because its users can speak freely about whatever they want. It is bad because your children are not protected from obscenity & pedophiles. An AOL user could have their membership suspended or terminated for using obscene language, flaming, or stalking, but an IRC user could not. Some channels on IRC have channel rules, but this is the exception. That's why it is not recommended that parents let their children use IRC unless they are directly supervised.

8. Remember to monitor your children's compliance with your rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time your children spend on the computer. Be clear about your rules. Once you have discussed them with your children, you may want to post them on the computer or in another place near the computer where they can read them while they surf. It will help them remember.

9. Get to know your child's "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends. Ask about who is on their buddy list & whom they talk to most frequently. This way you get a feel for whom they are talking to.

10. Warn your children that people are not always what they seem to be. Discuss this with them & be open. Parents & children can both be teachers. By having open discussions about safety, dangers, advantages, & disadvantages, you & your child can learn from each other.

Online Safety Tips For Teens - Part 2

Here is part 2 of my Online Safety Tips For Teens :)

For more information please visit Teenangels.org

Untile Next Time Safe Surfing


5. Never meet people in real life whom you meet on the Internet. If you insist on breaking this rule, make sure that you tell someone you trust whom you are meeting & any information that you know about this person. If you don't feel comfortable telling someone this person's personal information, you might want to seal the information in an envelope & tell someone to open it only if you are not home by a specific time.

Tell someone you trust where you are going & when. Before you go, talk to this person on the phone, & maybe have your parents speak to their parents. When you call, make sure that you block your phone number from caller ID (by dialing *67) or call from a pay phone.

Talk to a friend & have them look at some of your conversations to see if they pick up on anything misleading that you missed.

Make sure that you meet in a very public place. Bring along someone that you trust (preferably an adult) & keep your first couple of meetings to a minimum.

When you leave, don't go straight home; go to another public place & make sure that you are not being followed. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to say no.

6. Never open e-mail with an attachment from an address that you don't know. It may contain a virus or worm that can destroy your computer. Never download anything from someone you don't know or an unreliable source.

If you receive an attachment from someone you do know, make sure you run it through an anti virus program.

If you get a regular e-mail from someone you don't know, just delete it; don't reply to it, because it could be from a hacker. Delete chain letters & SPAM Do not forward chains or "tracked" letters, because they are fake.

7. Be smart; apply common sense & good judgment. Don't let down your guard & become infatuated with people you meet online. Don't break the rules for someone. If someone seems too good to be true, they usually are. Always remain in control of the situation.

8. If you think that you are being harassed or stalked, never reply to the harasser. Make sure you let an adult know what's going on. And if you're really afraid, report it to the police.

9. Just because someone gives you their personal information or sends you an e-mail, it doesn't mean that you have to send one back, or give them your information. You are always in charge. If someone is bothering you, just sign off. You don't have to tell anyone anything that you don't want to.

10. It's easy to become addicted to or obsessed with the computer & Internet by spending too much time online. Try to maintain a healthy balance between cyberland & the real world. Remember, the Internet is a great place for learning & talking to people, but as a teen your social life shouldn't revolve around the Internet.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Teenangels Breaking News - San Francisco Update

During the second week of June 2004, I had the unique opportunity of attending and speaking at the IAPP/Trust E Privacy Futures Conference. The guest list included the Chief Privacy Officers of all the major technology companies i.e. Microsoft, Oracle, AOL, Proctor & Gamble, and Google, as well as members of the FTC. Some of California’ s Congressional Representatives were there too! I spoke on the plenary (main) panel with Parry, Brian, Pat, Emma, and Joey (our newest Teenangel!).

We talked to these adults, some of the most powerful in the business, about what kids and teens REALLY think when it comes to privacy. We explained to them that above all we want RESPECT. We don’t want to be tricked or deceived. We want what happens to our information to be OUR choice. In other words, we should be told exactly what the sites will be doing with our information and have the option of allowing it or not.

We ARE willing to give our information to a site, as long as it won’t be linked to personally identifiable information; either way, we want to know and be able to choose what is done with it. Teens and kids are particularly inclined to offer information if we trust the site, and if the site offers us something that interests us. Surprising to many adults, including Parry, the teens and kids we surveyed actually trusted Microsoft more than anyone, Google and Disney included! Furthermore, we don’t usually fall for gimmicks. In other words, if sites are offering us something, it better be something we actually want, but also something that does not sound too good to be true.

The Conference attendees loved us! They found the teen perspective very useful and intelligently formed. At the end of our presentation I solicited help from the audience. I told them our goals, including completing and distributing safety, privacy, and training videos, forming more Teenangels chapters, and spreading the word through our site, brochures, manuals, and activity books.

I also mentioned our long-time goal of a Teenangels conference. Guess what?! By the end of the presentation, Microsoft, Oracle, and others had already begun to plan our conference! It’s all in the works now and you will get more details later, but so far, the conference will take place NEXT AUGUST, on Puget Sound (Seattle area). It will last about 3 days and about 300 teens from across the country will be specially selected to attend. We are going to teach them how to be Teenangels all at once, by bringing in all of the experts in security, privacy, and safety to train them. While there will be an underlying safety focus, and plenary panels that all will have to attend, the teens will be able to choose what specific track they’d like to follow, i.e. privacy, techie stuff (like hacking etc.), or content. Through SMS texting, Internet polling, and live video of the conference available on the Internet, hundreds of teens will learn from this conference, even if they aren’t physically there.

Others at the privacy conference also showed interest in linking our site to theirs, sponsoring Teenangels chapters in their towns, funding the videos and more. It was a great success! After working for the past 6 years on something you believe in, it’s so rewarding to see others take a strong interest in it and want to help. That was probably one of the best days of my life so far…

So as you can see, Teenangels is ready to take flight. We are the experts! And we have an audience, the world, ready to hear what we have to say. Blog, talk to your friends about being Teenangels, and get excited about being a Teenangel. You have no idea just how impressive that is and will continue to be. Thanks for everything you have done and will continue to do.

So who is ready to help?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Favorite Popup Blocker?

Time to poll the world!
( or as much of it that reads this )

I want to know what is your favorite Pop-Up Blocker Tool.

Personally i am a huge fan of the Google Toolbar with its built in Pop-Up Blocker.

I have tried others like Yahoo!'s and MSN's and I'm still staying with Google.

What do you Use?

Place your Thoughts in the comments to this post.


Anti-Spyware Bill One Step Closer

I came across this article tonight and i think everyone should take some time to read it. There is a proposed bill to regulate the downloading of spyware!

You can find the article Here

Place your comments on the bill or spyware in general :)


Trillian vs. Yahoo - Part 2

Maybe it is just me but if there is a free service out there (including messenger programs) what does it matter if a third-party improves them? Heck, Yahoo should be happy; I can speak for myself when I say if it weren't for using Trillian to have a Yahoo sn I simply would not use Yahoo Messenger......resulting in no active e-mail address.....resulting in Yahoo not making money off of me by being able to display Ads in my mailbox.

So Tsk Tsk on Yahoo and AIM for being stubborn on third-party software that raises the bar for instant messaging clients.

Does anyone agree with me? Also I'd love to hear an argument on the opposite side of mine.


Safety Quiz!

Hello Teenangels and friends! I'm Brittany and I've been a Teenangel for the past six years. (Guess I'm getting old). Anyways, for my first blog, I decided to post a little safety quiz so you could test just how safe you are. Take a moment and ask yourself these questions; there are some things you are doing or not doing that you might not even think about, which are making you less safe. Here goes!

How safe are you?

Give yourself this little test. If you answer yes to any of these 11 questions, you are NOT as safe as you can and should be online.

1) Do you post your phone/cell phone number on your away messages?
2) Do you have your schools name or your email address/telephone number at school in your profile?
3) Has you or your school ever posted pictures of you and your friends on a website along with your names?
4) Does anyone, besides your parents, know your password, even your best friend?
5) Is your password something obvious, like your pets name, favorite sports team, boyfriend/girlfriends name, date of birth?
6) Have you ever given a complete stranger your real name, school, hometown, sports team, and/or position? Strangers who try to lure kids/teens, pedophiles, piece these little bits of information together to find you.
7) Do you illegally download music, motion pictures, sitcoms, or software?
8) Do you keep a blog and include personal information like your friends names, hometown, school, etc?
9) Do you purchase things online without telling your parents first or from a not well-known vendor?
10) Have you ever replied to an email address that sent you porn/violent spam, or claimed to give you something for signing up? (Replying to these emails allows that particular service to know that you are an active email address; they will use your name to make money and probably make you receive even more unwanted spam.)
11) Have you ever met a stranger offline that you met online?

If you answer yes to all of these questions, you ARE on the right track to being a safe and responsible surfer. You should encourage all of your friends and family to do the same!

1) Do you ACTUALLY read a sites privacy policy?
2) Do you check for spyware on your computer? (Spyware are analysis and tracking programs hidden in the software. These types of programs report your activities to an advertising providers web site where it is stored and analyzed.) These are some good SpyWare Cleaners: Adaware ( www.lavasoftusa.com) Spybot Search And Destroy
( www.safer-networking.org)
3) Do you use any anti-virus software?
4) Is your password something only you would know? Have you changed it in the past 2 or 3 months?
5) Do you only legally download music, movies, software etc., (incurring a fee to do so)?
6) Do you only talk online to people that you know?
7) Do you keep your profiles and away messages free of personal information (numbers, names, addresses, etc)?
8) Do you just delete spam, instead of contributing to making your ISP's slower by forwarding it?
9) Are you aware of what sites do with your information and who is trustworthy?

I hope you did well! I will be posting some more blogs shortly. I am planning on writing about some of our recent activities as Teenangels, including a trip to San Francisco, where we spoke on a plenary panel at the IAPP/Trust E Privacy Futures conference. It was great and I'll tell you all about it! I'm also going to be working on an article about what teens really do when it comes to pirating motion pictures, sitcoms and software. I want to give the media, policy makers, and adults in general, a sense of these issues from a teen perspective.

One more thing...I'd love to hear from more Teenangels and friends than just Brian and Pat (no offense). That means YOU! Let's get this going!!


You can email me with questions or ideas at brittany@teenangels.org

Trillian Is Blocked By Yahoo!....Again

On Wednesday June 23rd Yahoo! changed its messenger protocal in an attempt to block users of Trillian from accessing its servers. For more information on this situation Click Here

To Learn more about Trillian and what it does visit Cerulean Studios

Patches are available for Trillian and Trillian Pro to fix a Yahoo connection problem.

~ Trillian Pro Users: Log-In and download the 2.013 or the latest patch.
~ Trillian 0.74 Users: Download 0.74i or Patch I.

Trillian Pro User

Online Safety Tips For Teens - Part 1

Here are some safety tips we have compiled for teens. For more visit Teenangels.org

Online Safety Tips For Teens

1. Never give your password out. If someone gains access to your password they can read your mail, buy stuff with your credit card information, & obtain personal & identifiable information. They can change your profile, play pranks using your name, & possibly get you kicked off your service. They can also change your password & lock you out of your account.
Choose a password that is easy for you to remember but cannot be easily guessed. You may want to change your password frequently, at least once a month (but make sure you write it down so you don't forget). Be careful if someone is watching you enter your password - they may look over your shoulder & steal it. He/she who controls the password controls everything.

2. Never give out any information that will allow someone to find you off-line. Information such as the school you attend, the teams you are on, the place where you work, your address, your telephone number, or your detailed description when linked with other information can help someone find you if they are looking very hard.
Be careful where else you put information that is publicly accessible, such as school & personal web sites, friends' web sites, profiles, & ICQ registries.
Don't use your full name online (first & last). You may even want to be careful before you use your real first name. Your name, when linked with other information, can allow someone to find you.

3. When choosing a screen name, you should consider not using your whole or part of your real name. Don't choose one that is provocative (flirtatious, vulgar, etc.). You should choose a screen name that is easy to remember.

4. Make sure that you have an anti virus program. Your program is only as good as how frequently you update it, since new viruses are spread around every day"

More Tips to come soon :)


Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Hey Everyone!

I was just wondering if there are any subjects you would like us to cover in this blog?

Know any good articles to review? movies? CD's?

We are open to anything :)

Just leave a comment


Internet Safety Tips For Parents - Part 1

Here are some Online Safety Tips For Parents Off Our Site

For More Tips Goto : Teenangels.org

Online Safety Tips For Parents

1. Make sure that your child does not spend an excessive amount of time online/on the computer. Use your own discretion when setting guidelines. It is impossible to provide an exact time limit for use of the Internet. Based on school days vs. weekends, age of child, & use for the Internet, time limits will vary. An average of one to two hours per day is probably most appropriate.

However, there are always exceptions. Use your judgment in deciding what is best for your child.

2. People, not computers, should be your child's best friends & companions. Help them find a balance between computing & other activities.

3. Keep the computer in the family room, kitchen, or living room, not in your child's bedroom. Check the screen from time to time to make sure that they are viewing appropriate material. However, you should try building trust with your child, hoping that they have the good judgment to know right from wrong.

4. Learn enough about computers so that you can enjoy them together with your kids. (Your children may be the most affordable computer specialist you can persuade to do house calls.) Don't be afraid to learn something from your kids. However, you are the parent & you must also teach your child. It is a two-way street. Know your child's experience with the computer, & exactly how extensive their knowledge of the Internet is. You'd be surprised at how much they know & how much they can teach you.

I Will Post More Tips Tmr :)


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Visit Us!

Hey everyone,

We have done a complete redesign of our site located at www.teenangels.org. Check it out and post your thoughts on this blog :)

Catch you later



Welcome y'all. It is great to get all of these web sites up and running.


Blogging Bandwagon

Welcome to the Teenangels.org blog spot on the web. This will be a place for us to keep you up on internet safety issues and just anything cool that we may come across. I hope you all enjoy it.

Talk to you Soon