Mom and Dad, beware! When your kids are at the computer doing their homework, be wary of them logging onto inappropriate sites. There are many stories about perverts who prowl the Web. They take on various poses, lure young people with misleading stories and promises, and can arrange in-person meetings. They may even travel to far-away cities or send tickets to youngsters to meet them elsewhere. While there are some investigators (called syscops) whose job it is to look for these kinds of perpetrators, unfortunately, there are not enough of them to stop this growing crime. Watch out for yourself and your kids.
In one of the most riveting TV investigative stories, a reporter in Cleveland got a 20-something producer to pose as a 15-year-old girl in a chat room. In just a matter of time, a 40-something guy began to send her lewd sexual invitations over the computer chat rooms. He arranged to meet her in a park, where the reporter ambushed him. Though the man denied everything, they followed him to his car, which he had described to the girl as a white car with a damaged side mirror so she'd know it was him.
Beside the general precautions about using cyberspace to meet people, here
are some safety tips to prevent children from inappropriately hooking up over
- Keep the computer terminal in a family room, not in a private bedroom.
- Discuss proper usage with your children.
- Monitor usage periodically.
- Set specific times when the computer can be used-when someone's home.
- Inform kids about potential dangers on the Internets, in the same
way you would warn them about abductions. Encourage them to come to you with any
questions they may have.
- Talk to kids about sex in general so they have a healthy attitude and
are not misinformed.