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Children, teens should be aware of online dangers

Staff Report • Dec 6, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Too many young people are under the mistaken impression that only friends are going to see the photographs or vital personal information they post about themselves on social media. Unfortunately, there are also a number of strangers with candy on the Internet.

The digital age has its own high-tech versions of “Peeping Toms” and playground sex predators, and it’s time both parents and children come to that realization. That’s why it is important every parent has a serious talk with their children about the dangers that lurk in the shadows of the Internet.

Teenagers can put both their personal safety, as well as their reputations, in jeopardy by posting photos and information about themselves on the Internet. National statistics suggest about 30 percent of children have been solicited for sex over the Internet. While social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter have become popular places for Americans of all ages to stay in touch online, law enforcement officials say children become vulnerable to predators when they post too much personal information to such sites.

School officials across the country now offer educational programs to warn students of the dangers of posting too much personal information about themselves online. It’s important these students know there are people online who could use such information to do them harm.

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