The Internet is a great tool for many things, such as doing research, reading latest news, shopping and staying in touch with family and friends. To borrow from title of a Clint Eastwood movie, along with good comes "the bad and ugly".
Freedom on Internet also opens door for illegal activity, such as emails pretending to be your bank (aka phishing), expression of various ideas - whether you agree with them or not, scams to separate people from their money and content that some find objectionable, like pornography.
While searching Internet for homeschool support groups, to ask for permission to list their web site as a resource in HomeSchoolEXPOs' Support Groups & Organizations directory, I became a victim of porn-napping. I didn't know this term existed until I decided to do research for this newsletter. My purpose was to help other parents, who are short on time, learn about what they can do to protect their children who use Internet.
Porn-napping happens when a non-pornography domain or web site address becomes inactive and it is purchased by a pornography business. The site might have closed down or owner didn't renew their ownership. Once pornography business owns address, they post their content on it. Below is an example of how I was porn-napped.
Let's say there is a homeschool support group called Family Homeschooling. Their web site address is www.familyhomeschooling.com. The group discontinues because all of children have graduated high school and have gone to college. The parents decide not to renew ownership of their website address. A pornography business discovers support groups' web address is available and decides to buy it. Now that they own address, they post their content under domain www.familyhomeschooling.com, with no warning of content that is coming. Another tactic they may employ is something called a re-direct. This happens when you click on or type in a web site address they have purchased, e.g. www.familyhomeschooling.com, and you are re-directed to another site with their content. Re-directing is not illegal. Many web sites use this feature for functions such as load balancing or redirecting users to a sites new web address because it has changed.