Every day, Teresa DiFalco’s children clamor for her iPhone.

The kids, ages 9 and 11, use the smart phone and DiFalco’s iPod Touch to play such games as “Angry Birds” and “Zombie Farm.” Around the nation, other kids are doing the same, either on their own or on their parents’ mobile devices, such as smart phones, iPads and other tablets.

But to the alarm of some parents, these mobile devices can do far more than enable their children to send text messages and play games. The gadgets are powerful little computers that can access the Internet in all its tastelessness. A few companies now are promoting products to block unwanted online content.

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“It’s not your grandfather’s Internet anymore,” said Stephen Balkam, chief executive of nonprofit advocacy organization Family Online Safety Institute.

“We’re getting to a stage now where just about anything with a screen is connected to the Net, but we still have a generation of parents who were born in the analog age,” he said.

Since the rise of the personal computer, Internet users have been concerned about their children finding graphic images of sex and violence and increasingly about their kids’ sending inappropriate content or bullying messages to one another online, Balkam said.

But it took time for some parents to realize that mobile devices carry the same capabilities and risks.

Read more of this LA Times article HERE.

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