Chapter 5. Social Networking Safely

BASED ON RECENT NEWS REPORTS, you might think that something incredibly dangerous has burst on the scenethat there's a predator lurking behind nearly every keyboard waiting to sexually assault a teenager. Well, predators and tragic cases of sexual assault do exist, but before you yank the broadband modem out of the wall, consider the real risks.

We recently heard about a video that exposes the "current pandemic of sexual predation via the Internet" (from a company that offers a monitoring service), and plenty of other people are only too willing to tell you about the "growing epidemic" of kids who have been victims of Internet-related sexual exploitation. It's enough to scare a parent to death.

But despite a handful of truly tragic situations, the facts are that:

  • The odds of your child being the victim of Internet-related sexual violence are extremely low.

  • There are much more likely risks that the headlines often overlook.

Most news reports about MySpace in the first few months of 2006 concerned a handful of tragic cases involving men contacting teen girls on MySpace and persuading them to meet offline for sex. Then the number of school-related stories about threats to peers and teachers started growing.

We've also seen a few stories about identity theft on MySpace. Most of these stories concerned kids' user names and passwordsin other words, the peer-to-peer harassment we'll be hearing more about from the media as reporters move beyond the predation story.

MySpace Unraveled. A Parent's Guide to Teen Social Networking from the Directors of BlogSafety. com
MySpace Unraveled: A Parents Guide to Teen Social Networking
ISBN: 032148018X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 91 © 2008-2017.
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