Review – A Smart Girl's Guide To The Internet
A year or so ago I ran across the American Girl Smart Girl’s Guide series. I had heard some good things about the company and the books looked well written, so I picked up a few at a booksale and gave them to a friend whose daughter was approaching the right age. Recently, he reported that his daughter was finding them useful.
So, when I ran across A Smart Girl’s Guide to the Internet at a used bookstore, I picked it up. The book is clearly written for younger readers. It’s segmented by what kids do online and written in a way so as not to be insulting but still be useful. What I particularly liked is how it directly addresses real issues while still referring the kids to parental authority if they have any questions.
Some items of interest:
- There is a general stress on intelligence, or as they put it: smarts not software.
- An ongoing discussion about privacy and why it’s important, including what counts as personal information and why it should be protected.
- A running analogy of online threats to real-life threats.
- What to do when the inevitable happens and a kid is put in an uncomfortable position due to either social interaction or accidental browsing.
- Bullying and social snubbing.
- How to only connect with people you know personally instead of strangers.
- How to create content without putting yourself or your friends at risk.
To someone who has been working in the I.T. Security industry for a while, there is nothing new here. However, if you are a parent of or know parents of young girls, this is a great book for them to read. (Technically, it would be good for young boys too, but it’s unlikely that the majority of them would actually read it, as it is clearly branded for girls.) It’s nice to see a book like this being made available.