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The world of on-line that we and our kids are naive about.

 
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Poll

What age children should have access to any type of instant messenger?
8-12
 0%  [ 0 ]
12-14
 6%  [ 1 ]
14-16
 12%  [ 2 ]
16-18
 18%  [ 3 ]
18+
 62%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 16


jewgal84




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 1:43 pm
EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ ALL OF THIS and HAVE YOUR CHILDREN READ IT TOO!

After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and
get on-line She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She
checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant
message:

ByAngel213:
Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today.
It was really weird!

GoTo123:
LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you?
Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

ByAngel213:
Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see
anybody when I looked out.

GoTo123:
Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213:
Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123:
Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213:
Yes and we won!!

GoTo123:
That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213:
We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like
bees. LOL

GoTo123:
What is your team called?

ByAngel213:
We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are
really cool.

GoTo123:
Did you pitch?

ByAngel213:
No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before
my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

GoTo123:
Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for
her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He
took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina

Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this
information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him.
He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. Every afternoon until her
parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday
afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats.
Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the
eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School . She had told him all
this in the conversations they had on- line. He had enough information
to find her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from
the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop
her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always
overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an
only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't
be so overprotective.

By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.

Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at
her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her
second base position to see a man watching her closely.

He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when
she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the
sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She
noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she
smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he
had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks
to Shannon 's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned
to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came
to go to Shannon 's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat
there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the
living room.

"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she
couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the
ballpark sitting on the sofa.

"Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most
interesting story about you."

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never
seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am, Shannon ?" the man asked.

"No," Shannon answered.

"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14.
And he lives in Michigan !"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You
see, Shannon , there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was
one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I
belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators.
I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to
people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for
me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball
team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey
just made finding you a breeze."

Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan ?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh . It made you feel safe to think I
was so far away, didn't it?"

She nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky.
The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are
taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the
time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a
little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them
enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I
hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell
others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!"

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all knelt down together and
thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic
situation.

*****NOW*****

Please send this to as many people as you can to teach them not to give
any information about themselves. This world we live in today is too
dangerous to even give out your age, let alone anything else.

EVEN FORWARD THIS TO PEOPLE WITHOUT KIDS SO THEY CAN SEND IT TO FRIENDS THAT DO HAVE CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN.
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bashinda




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 1:47 pm
I don't know why but this just felt so fake to me and, well, it was:

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/shannon.asp
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Frumom




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 1:50 pm
How about poll option never. Of course you cant control kids from getting a screen name (at the library, friends homes, or wherever) but to encourage or allow? It's unnecessary.
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jewgal84




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 1:53 pm
Well bashinda, thanks for clearing that up!!

Though I still find it to be an eye opener!
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Mitzvahmom




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 1:57 pm
The reality is... YOu can lock down a computer until your home, then limit the access..

I knwo if my mother had taken away my computer privlages growing up, I just would have gone to the library. She was smart enough to know, that if we had open communication, that I would not do anything "stupid"
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bashinda




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 2:02 pm
jewgal84 wrote:
Well bashinda, thanks for clearing that up!!

Though I still find it to be an eye opener!


agreed. I liked some of the tips snopes listed there.

I realized now why it seemed fake. I just thought it seems backwards. Usually cops are pretending to be young kids in hopes of catching perps not spending time and resources (which are probably limited) talking to kids online. I can see a cop going to schools for presentations and discussing this but pretending to be a stalker? I doubt it.
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ssbarnes




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 2:07 pm
I have degrees in math and computer science. I have done quite a bit of online research and I am not naiive about what is 'out there'.

Not only are my children not allowed to have IM accounts, I monitor their e-mail (they are aware of this) and they are only allowed on the Internet when they are in the same room with myself or DH.

My oldest is 12 and he has an older model laptop. We picked this particular laptop because it has an external wireless internet card. The internet card stays in my jewelry box unless he has our permission to use it.

There are predators out there. My job is not only to protect my children, but to teach them to protect themselves.


This is partially why I do not allow my children to go to the public library without me. While The Children's Internet Protection Act forced libraries to place blocking software on the computers, the American Library Association is completely against this and their stance is that software blocking the Internet at the public library is unconstitutional.

Read:
http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff.....a.htm

Not only do I not want my children accessing that filth, it disgusts me to think that an adult would be looking at that and then looking at my child in the library. If you want that filth, pay for your own Internet access and do it in your own home!
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iamawife




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 2:13 pm
if its true or not its just to bring out a lesson, and sadly its very common for kids to speak with strangers online
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bashinda




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 2:15 pm
The ALA is really really out in left field sometimes. I'd rather my children use the computer here with me around than go to the library. I don't go to the public library though.
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iamawife




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Mar 14 2007, 2:18 pm
true but not when I'm not home Wink
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Imaonwheels




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 15 2007, 12:02 pm
This may be a fake but there is a guy who gives lectures to parents and before he goes he tries to find kids at the school and use predator tricks just to scare the parents by showing how easy this puzzle can be pieced together by seemingly innocuous info.
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chen




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 15 2007, 1:06 pm
Law enforcement officers would not waste their time "trapping" a kid. just to teach her a lesson. It's a better use of their time to track the perps who prey on the kids or to give talks at schools and youth clubs.

That being said-- The story about Shannon may be made up but the message it carries is real.
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shayna82




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 15 2007, 1:14 pm
my kids are bh not yet at the age where it would be a problem, but I just know from my own experiences that when the internet is so attracting, but its so limited as far as my own usage time, I want it more, and as a young girl I would try to go on wherever I was, because I was so restricted.

I think the trick is, a healthy balance and to give your kids a chance to trust in themselves and not have you looking over their shoulder every ten seconds, but they do know your watching.
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