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David Baxter

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Children warned of social Web site dangers
Oct 23, 2007

Site advises kids not to give away their real name, full address

LONDON - Police launched a web site on Tuesday to warn children as young as eight about the dangers of putting their personal details on social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo.

The site ? www.thinkuknow.co.uk/cybercafe ? has an online cafe where children can learn about the dangers of revealing too much about themselves online.

It warns them not to give away their real name, full address and mobile phone number and to think twice before posting their pictures.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, a police agency set up to tackle child sex abuse, said it receives about 10 reports each month relating to children aged between eight and 11.

"We want children to use the Internet," said CEOP Chief Executive Jim Gamble, "but we want them to do it in a way that safeguards their time in the virtual world."

The new site advises children to avoid using a webcam when they talk to strangers online and not to arrange to meet people who contact them in cyberspace.

Children should block strangers who try to add them to their instant messaging contact list, CEOP said.

The site also gives tips on how to safely use mobile phones, chatrooms and email.
 

Anti-Citrite

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Oct 16, 2008
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Social Networking, PC Use and Teens.

There are a lot of real dangers to the Social Networks, but as a parent - you can use these to your advantage and if you understand them, your kids can use them safely - but they are young and don't think all the time, so you kind of need to get a handle on this yourself - it is your responsibility.

Let's look at Facebook. If you are in high school and you don't have a Facebook account, you are certainly in the minority. The amount of information you can find out about people on Facebook is staggering, if the proper privacy settings aren't in place.

As a parent - you need to understand these social networks and the best way to do that is get on them yourself. If your kid is an avid Facebook user, you should understand what that means.

My daughter is on Facebook and has a closed profile. Thankfully, I am one of her "friends" and as a result, I can see her activity. Many of her friends have "open" profiles, which means you or I can find out a LOT of information about them and they don't realize just how much.

I know who the "drug" crowd is at the school. I know some of the girls who are sexually active. You can see from the photos the kids post what exactly they are doing - smoking, drugs, boyfriends, drinking, parties, etc. You know when they are fighting with friends. You know who is not nice to them. You know who they are not nice to. I've been blown away by what the kids post up there clearly not thinking/believing that mom and dad would ever be taking a look.

I could go on forever about parents who let their kids have their own PC in their bedroom...it is not a good idea for so many reasons. Pornography addiction starts young. They can be on late and you'd never know. My daughter's friends can be on 'til 2-3 a.m. on a school night and their parents have no idea. I know - because I see their postings on Facebook! What sites are they surfing? Do you have any idea how much access to information and people they have?

Parents - come on, wake up, be on guard. High school isn't like it was when we were in high school...
 

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