The Computer Room
The Facts:The Statistics are frightening.....
- Law enforcement officials estimate that as many as 50,000 sexual predators are online at any given moment (Dateline, January 2006).
- One in five children who use computer chatrooms has been approached over the Internet by pedophiles.*
- 89% of sexual solicitations were made in either chat rooms or Instant Messages.*
- Half of teens ages 13-18 often communicate through the Internet with someone they have not met in person.*
- One-third of youth ages 8-18 have talked about meeting someone they have only met through the Internet.*
- Almost one in eight youth ages 8-18 discovered that someone they were communicating with online was an adult pretending to be much younger.*
- 30% of teenage girls polled by the Girl Scout Research Institute said they had been sexually harassed in a chatroom. Only 7%, however, told their mothers or fathers about the harassment because they were worried that their parents would ban them from going online.
- 81% of parents of online teens say that teens aren’t careful enough when giving out information about themselves online and 79% of online teens agree with this.
- 95% of parents didn’t recognize common chat room lingo that teenagers use to let people they’re chatting with know that their parents are watching. Those phrases are POS (parent over shoulder) and P911 (parent alert).
What You Can Do!
- A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety: From the FBI.
- Microsoft's site on child safety: Whether your kids go online to browse, research school projects, play games, or chat with friends, you can help to keep them safer while they explore online with the following articles and tips.
- Stay Safe Online: This informational website contains links for educators, parents, children and businesses using the internet.
- Yahoo Kids: Teaching children about online risks.
- National Cyber Alert System: Keeping Children Safe Online.
- Get Net Wise: How to use the internet safely.
- McGruff's Child Safety Center: Teaching children about internet safety.