By Art Wolinsky
Ok, it’s time for you to have “the talk” with your teen. No, no… I don’t mean THAT talk. I mean the talk about Internet safety. But having this talk is often more uncomfortable to the parent or the teacher than the birds and the bees talk, because in the case of technology, the teens know more than the parents.
You may have been paying close attention to the media messages about online predators and have carefully prepared yourself with all of the stories about their deceptions. Then when you have the talk, your children are likely to listen dutifully and promise to be careful, or they will roll their eyes and say, “Duh… Iike I’ve heard this a million times before. I AM careful online.”
The media message about the dangers of the Internet is one based on the need to capture eyeballs and increase the bottom line, not the need to educate or keep people safe. While the danger is real, media picture of the predator and victim is not accurate. I would like to try change that situation by providing you with information based on the latest scientific research and tens of thousands of conversations I’ve had with teens in my role as a technology teacher for more than a quarter century and as the Educational Technology Director of WiredSafety.org, the world’s largest Internet safety and help organization.
Each time I blog here, I will try to provide you with information and resources that will help you get the dialog going in painless ways. I’ll provide personal insights, stories, or facts based on solid research along with some resources created with the help of Adobe products, that you can view and in some case download.
So to get the dialog going, check out this Adobe Presenter presentation about the facts and myths surrounding Internet sexual predators Then check back here for my next post in which I’ll talk about the ten ploys used by offline and online sexual predators.