In every American city, there are good places to visit and good people to meet.  However, there are also dangerous places to avoid and dangerous people to stay away from as well.  Students are taught that the Internet or “Cyber City” is the same.  While there are many wonderful web sites and people that one can visit and chat with on the Internet, there are also many dangerous places and people on the Internet that they should stay away from, namely pornography sites, and predators.

 

Just as a fishing lure attracts fish to take a bite to get hooked, there are those on the Internet who want children, youth, and adults to get hooked on Internet pornography.  Pornographers are devious people and will do anything to get people to view and seek out this harmful, offensive, and addicting material.

 

Any responsible parent who has a toddler at home will “Baby proof” their home to keep their toddler safe from harmful and dangerous things or “Lures” around the house.  The same should be the case with home computers connected to the Internet.  We should “Baby proof” our home computers to keep our children safe from the lures of harmful, obscene, and pornographic web sites, and Internet predators.

 

Children and teens who visit Internet chat rooms is a huge safety concern.  Internet predators go to teen chat rooms with the express purpose of finding an unsuspecting child or teen to befriend and then harm.  Students are taught to stay out of chat rooms as this is where predators go to meet them.

 
 
With the anonymity of the Internet, it becomes difficult to know who you are really talking to in a chat room.  Children and youth have been taught to not to talk to strangers, and if this is the case, why should they do so in a chat room?  Students are taught that if they log-in to a chat room, it is possible for an Internet predator to find out their parents names, their address, where they are likely go to school, and can obtain a map of their neighborhood, all within 45 minutes!
 

 

A fairly recent Internet danger that sprang up around the country several years ago, is people using cell phones to text or email obscene, indecent, or pornographic messages or pictures to others.  Doing so is called “Sexting.  Sexting has become a huge problem amongst teens and can be a crime.  People who have Pornographic pictures on a cell phone, or who do sexting, risk being arrested.  Students are taught not to have anything to do with Sexting as it will lead to nothing but trouble and problems.

The following Internet Safety Rules are taught:
1.    Computers connected to the internet should be placed in well supervised locations.
2.    Children should not access the internet unless a parent is home to supervise.
3.    Don’t visit Chat rooms or participate in Online Video Gaming as this is where predators go to meet teens.
4.    Don’t send indecent, obscene or pornographic text messages or pictures to others from your cell phone.
5.    Don’t open e-mails from people and sources you don’t know.  Tell a parent and let them decide what to do with them.  If in doubt, just delete them.
6.    Check with a parent first before giving out personal information over the internet.
7.    Be careful when typing web site addresses on the internet.  Make sure the spelling is correct.  Many pornographic web sites use common misspellings of popular kids web sites.

8.    Be careful when searching for information (when you use yahoo, googlelycos, etc.,), read the synopsis carefully before you visit any web site.
9.    If an obscene or pornographic picture ever pops up, use the “Crash and Tell” method.  This means you turn the computer off and tell a parent.    Don’t click the X button to exit out.  Many pornographic sites are linked to other pornographic sites by using the X button.
10.    Subscribe to internet filtering software or services to screen and block harmful web sites.
11.    Don’t break any of these rules at a friend’s house just because they don’t have the same rules.

 
An Internet safety lesson such as this would not have been necessary 30 years ago.  However, due to the contemporary Internet issues we face today, it becomes paramount.  The following are some basic facts about the Internet and pornography:
1.  Pornography is the most sought after material on the Internet.
2.  There are over 68 million searches for pornography every day.
3.  There are over 372 Million pornographic web pages on the Internet.
4.  It is a 20 Billion dollar a year business.
5.  The average age of a person who sees Internet pornography for the first time is 11 years old .
6.  90% of children ages 8 to 16 have been exposed to pornography.
7.  Psychologists claim that the addiction to pornography is worse than drug addiction.
8.  Kids as young as 8 years old have become addicted to Internet pornography.
 
 
 
Finally, students are taught that viewing indecent, obscene or pornographic images, or participating in unwholesome activity on the Internet does not have a path to excellence and should be avoided.

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