Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Be Aware

time a child clicks on to an internet site or, more particularly, enters a chat room, there is a risk.
This is the real danger of children talking online with strangers who "understand" them and the issues in their lives. The results can be ruinous. This week, the Federal Government's internet safety advisory body, NetAlert, is launching a series of radio and television spots asking children and parents to be more aware when using chat rooms and the internet. In December 2005, an online safety survey conducted by NetAlert revealed that almost one in two teenagers potentially would meet the person they have chatted to online. Only one in 10 would ask their parents for permission to do so. If this is not cause for concern, recent figures from NetAlert point to deep unease among parents over internet predators. Last year, 4599 calls were made to NetAlert by parents worried about online relationship involvement of their children.
Internet predation and abuse iS NOT overstated.
Besides the prevalence of strangers hiding in online chat rooms intent on winning a child's confidence, the age and naivety of children regularly using the internet raises the issue of potential pedophile involvement.
Did you know that for every 5 females who have a My Space blog, or whatever you choose to call it, 1 is approached by a sexual predator. Of course, she may not realise it, but sadly it's true.
These figures are rising, lets work towards putting a halt to them.
So as a parent and someone who deals with children who are victims of sexual abuse, i would urge other parents just to keep an eye on who your child is chatting with.

till next time, Michelle.


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