Teens And Blogs - Internet Safety Wake-Up Call
by: Rose DesRochers
In November of 2005, I read that a Roman Catholic high
school in Sparta had ordered its students to remove personal
blogs from the Internet, in the name of protecting them from
cyberpredators. Which brings me to an important question, just
how can you keep your child safe online?
The Internet is a "gateway" which leads the adult predator
to your child. Parents need to recognize the need to better
monitor their children’s online activity. I believe that
websites like xanga, myspace, and livejournal, make it all too
easy for sexual predators to prey on our children.
Children are vulnerable and they don’t realize that anyone
can and most likely is reading their blog entries. Both my
children have blogs, however they are under moderation by both
my husband and I. Frankly, as a parent of two teenagers I
believe that it is up to us as parents to educate our children
about the online dangers.
Children's blogs are a pedophile’s playground, because of
the easy ability to look into a child’s world. As parents we
can help our children stay safe while using a blog. For
information about blogging safety please visit http://BlogSafety.com and http://SafeTeens.com.
Regarding sites like hi5: I've received several invitations
from hi5, but I never signed up until November 2005. It wasn’t
long before I was removing my account. I should have read the
It reads: hi5 collects personal information when you
register, when you use hi5, when you visit hi5 pages or the
pages of certain hi5 partners. hi5 may combine information
about you that we have with information we obtain from business
partners or other companies. Once you register with hi5 and
sign in to our services, you are not anonymous to us. hi5
collects information about your transactions with us and with
some of our business partners. hi5 automatically receives and
records information on our server logs from your browser.
Basically, they have spyware.
Hi5 collects your Hotmail or yahoo address lists and
contacts. Once you register there is an e-mail that is sent to
everyone in your address book. This e-mail is sent without your
The website also requests, your hotmail and yahoo password.
I never gave my password, I was not that gullible. However hi5
was still able to gather my information and contact those
listed in my address book. I finally was able to delete my
account, through the instructions in their help file.
In my opinion, hi5 is even worse than xanga and myspace.
I encourage all parents, whose children have an account on
hi5, to log into hi5 and delete their children’s account.
Too much personal information is being revealed on these
websites, making it a haven for sexual predators. Parents need
to wake up.
I for one, am very concerned with websites like hi5,
MySpace, Xanga, DeadJournal, Blurty, etc that encourage
children to post their photos and personal information.
I strongly suggest that if your child uses the computer and
you have not been monitoring their activity, it is time that
you found out just what they are doing.
A report aired Dateline Friday, Jan. 27, at 9 p.m. by Rob
Stafford, a Correspondent of NBC News, tells parents why they
should mind MySpace. If you have not seen this report, I
suggest you take a moment to view it at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11064451/
You owe it to your children.
Which brings me to my next concern, the Internet is a scary
place, filled with all kind of strange people. I believe that
when you post your child’s picture on the net, you put them at
Did you know that your personal information, such as your
home phone number and address can easily be found on the
If this isn’t one reason to make you reconsider posting your
child’s picture on the internet, how about that in this day and
age, photos can be digitally altered and appear on porn
According to the National Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Children more than 20,000 images of child
pornography are posted on the internet every week.
Donna Rice Hughes of http://Protectkids.com states, “… the
demand for pornographic images of babies and toddlers on the
internet is soaring.” (Prof. Max Taylor, Combating
Paedophile Information Networks in Europe, March 2003). More
babies and toddlers are appearing on the net and the abuse
is getting worse. Images are more torturous and sadistic
than they were was before.
The typical age of children found on pornography sites is
between 6 and 12, but the profile is getting younger (Prof. Max
Taylor, Combating Paedophile Information Networks in Europe,
The U.S. Customs Service estimates that there are more than
100,000 web sites offering child pornography - which is illegal
worldwide. Red Herring Magazine, 1/18/02)”
I don't consider myself paranoid, but I don't post my
children's pictures on the internet and I believe that you
shouldn't either. We all have cute children and are proud of
them. But parents, please use some common sense. Keep your
child safe and out of the arms of child predators. A good
website to check out is: http://members.tripod.com/~Seadooer/sayno-contests.html
Say no to children's pictures on the web and for goodness
sake, monitor your child’s internet activity. Our children are
our most valuable asset, love them and protect them.
About The Author
Rose DesRochers is a published poet and
freelance writer. Rose has been writing poetry
for more than 20 years. She is also the founder
of http://www.todays-woman.net, a
supportive online writing community for men
and women over 18. She is also the Assistant
Administrator of http://www.invision-graphics.com.
This work is licensed under a Creative