Monday, April 7th, 2014
More than three quarters of American parents discuss online safety with their children, according to a new national survey, which is a reassuring finding given that the same survey found that 95 percent of 12-15 year-olds own at least one smartphone, tablet, or other web-connected device. More details of the survey, which was compiled by the commerce website eBuyer.com, were published on Mashable:
- 83 percent of parents surveyed trust their children to use the Internet safely
- 12-15 year-olds have an average of 78 Facebook friends they’ve never met in real life
- Kids in the same age demographic send an average of 255 text messages each week
- 64 percent of kids report having had a negative experience online, but only 22 percent of parents report that their kids have had a negative experience
- 57 percent of kids have accidentally accessed inappropriate material online
Image: Kids playing with smartphones, via Shutterstock
These activities will keep your kiddos occupied without using any screen time.
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Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
A computer-generated digital decoy of a girl its developers call “Sweetie” has successfully lured thousands of would-be predators into asking her to perform sex acts online. Around 250 Americans were among the 1,000 who the children’s rights group Terre des Hommes were able to identify and pass along to Interpol for possible prosecution. The group says thousands more, who were untraceable, made attempts to solicit sexual behaviors from “Sweetie.” More from NBC News:
Overall, almost 20,000 people made approaches to the virtual girl — who was modeled on a 10-year-old — but the charity was unable to track them all down.
“The child predators doing this now feel that the law doesn’t apply to them,” said Hans Guyt, director of campaigns at Terre des Hommes Netherlands. “The Internet is free, but not lawless.”
He added that real children were often forced into remote commercial child sexual exploitation — or “webcam child sex tourism” — by adults or extreme poverty.
“Sometimes they have to testify against their own family, which is almost an impossible thing to do for a child,” Guyt added. “Once a child has become a victim of sexual abuse, rehabilitation can take many years. It is along, painful, and labor-intensive process for children to overcome the trauma.”
Using methods similar to Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator,” the researchers worked from a building in Amsterdam during the summer. “Sweetie” was placed in public Internet chat rooms and the charity’s investigators waited for her to be approached.
“Sweetie” was deluged with requests for sexual webcam performances and while the would-be predators interacted with the virtual girl, researchers gathered information about their identities.
Image: “Sweetie,” via http://www.terredeshommes.org
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Thursday, November 1st, 2012
An Alabama girl got a stern lecture from local police after she placed an ad on Craigslist offering her 12-year-old brother for sale for $1,200. The prank was more than simply not funny, authorities told her, but dangerous. The Huffington Post has more:
Many kids joke about selling their little siblings. But one Alabama girl took the threat a bit too far.
“12-year-old joyfull [sic] little boy (real) needing a good home, and caring people to be around,” the now-deleted Craigslist ad read. The sale price? A cool $1,200.
Unfortunately, the intended joke fell flat on the authorities who gave the teen behind the ad a stern lecture, WAFF 48 News reported.
“[What] kids and parents need to realize is when you do something like this, you can lure the wrong kind of person, and you’re endangering the child by putting their image out there,” Mike Holt of the Florence Police Department told the TV station.
The ad looked legitimate and authorites feared it was the real deal.
The siblings, who were not named or charged with a crime, were identified by their grandmother, who brought them to the police station when she discovered the prank.
Image: Hands typing, via Shutterstock
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