Like real sharks, cyber sharks continually prowl the waters in search of prey. They may show up in what seem to be safe waters. In these cases we need to be aware of what attracts cyber sharks, and make sure our kids practice safe surfing.
Social networks are a case in point. Sites like MySpace and Facebook serve to connect people in an online network where they willingly share information, photos, and personal interests. It just so happens that this is the same information that sexual predators want. With this type of data at their fingertips, imagine the time they save looking for victims as well as trying to figure out what to say to them.
While social networking sites are very popular they can be very dangerous as well. Be sure to talk to your kids so they understand what they should and shouldn’t be saying. You should also have access to their pages so you know what they are saying.
- Bob Kessinger, CyberPatrol
Bob is the co-author of Surfing Among the Cyber Sharks: Parent’s Guide to Protecting Children and Teens from Online Risk