Parents and Internet Safety for Your Daughters
As recently as June 2001, a survey reported that one out of five children who use
the Internet regularly were solicited for sex last year.
This was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
More than twice as many girls as boys were solicited,
yet a large amount of those who reported the sexual solicitations were boys.
The group of children most frequently solicited are girls between the ages of 12-15.
There are many ways that parents can be involved to protect their daughters on the Internet, but
two very important ways are:
Teaching her how to protect herself while "on line"
Keeping an open line of communication... so you can intervene at any early, unsafe violations.
It is suggested that "on line" computers are placed in common areas within the house,
so that you as a parent can oversee, from time to time, the Internet use.
Sit down together and remind her that:
Online contact is a predator's first step toward a personal contact.
Many predators pretend they are your daughter's age
Predators may seem to be very nice, and often lure young women by making them feel very "special".
Surprisingly, although federal law requires reporting of sexual only 10% of those in this study were reported.
If you are even questioning that sexual solicitation has occured or want
to report an incident, contact The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and click on the "Cyber Tip Line".
You can also report Internet sexual solicitation to the police.
To lessen your fear by learning how to protect your children, read Gavin de Becker's fantastic book " Protecting the Gift",
a must read for every parent. There is a special chapter for parents of teenage daughters.
One last tip:
Learn the to be Internet savy yourself. Take a course and even have your children help you!
Here are some safety guidelines for your daughter while she is on the Internet.
Keep your passwords private.
Keep personal information to yourself.
Keep "online meetings" online.
Face to face meeting with someone you've met online can be dangerous.
Carefully choose who you respond to.
If a subject or message makes you uncomfortable, respect your feeling, and ignore and "block" the communication.
Tell your parents or a trustworthy adult immediately if an interaction makes you feel afraid, uncomfortable, or in anyway threatened.
Get credit card permission before using credit cards online.
Respectful communication is important online as well as in your day to day interactions. Bad language and mean messgaes sent online are wrong.
Be aware that online information is not private and that people online are not always who they say they are.
The Internet can be a wonderful way to connect with respectful people, but it can also be unsafe.
By following safety guidelines, you can enjoy your time.
Click here for more detailed Internet Safety Tips for young women.