NC mom finds adult content on daughter’s laptop, calls for better security
CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) – Almost a year after starting distance learning, a single mother made a shocking discovery on her child’s school computer. Now she is calling for tighter restrictions on the technology.
The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, told FOX 46 that her 12-year-old autistic daughter was viewing inappropriate images on her CMS Chromebook.
A few weeks ago, a teacher alerted the mom, telling her that her daughter was looking at “barely dressed” pictures during the virtual class.
That night, the girl’s mother scanned the device, looking for what was seen and connected. She says she found research on “sex and sexy” as well as a profile on the Quora site.
She believes her daughter created a fake profile on Quora based on finding the profile photos saved on the computer. The images had been uploaded to the Internet.
But the most horrific finding, her mother says, was when she saw adult men send her little girl naked pictures of themselves.
“[I’m] back and forth, crying a minute of rage, the next wondering how this could have happened, ”she said.
The girl’s mother says that because of her autism, her daughter has lived a “safe” life. Before the pandemic, her children had no devices and only had access to the Internet at school.
“In some ways it works really well,” her mother said. But she says socially and emotionally, her daughter is “at the bottom of the ladder,” particularly in the eight to ten age range.
“[She’s] seen a lot of things she shouldn’t be able to see at this point. She shouldn’t be able to know at this point, ”her mother said. “How could they distribute these devices that have little or no filters or locks?”
IT security specialist Tom Blanchard of Sterling Technology in Charlotte says it can be difficult to block sites.
“It’s a real challenge on a site like Quora or some other bulletin board like Reddit that can be totally useful and appropriate in an educational setting, but what you see bad guys doing is using these sites and putting links towards names that don’t associated with these bad things.
She believes the school was in a rush to distribute the devices and did not provide adequate security.
“There is no silver bullet to perfectly protect your children. There is no such thing. That’s why you need a combination of education and a tool that helps protect them the best, ”Blanchard said.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools made a statement to FOX 46, saying:
“Approximately 125,000 CMS devices are in the home with students and all of these devices are protected by state content filtering software, Zscaler, through the North Carolina Department of Education. This technology is not completely foolproof and with thousands of new websites and immeasurable amounts of new content loaded every day, some of that will sometimes pass.
Regarding the mentioned site, Quora, our team did some creative research and found some related content that is clearly inappropriate and the site was immediately blacklisted manually. “
The mother of the child still has the computer and says that her daughter has not been to class. She thinks she needs the help of a child psychologist to talk to her daughter about how she got to these sites and maybe, more importantly, why.