Today’s kids and teens have grown up using the Internet. It’s a part of their culture. It’s an amazing tool with legitimate uses. But the Internet also presents several challenges which require guidance from adults.
“ A lot of focus is paid to child predators. However, it’s important to remember that the Internet can introduce kids and teens to inappropriate material.”
“ Kids can go online almost anywhere—not just the computer at home, but at a friend’s house, a library, or school. They can even use their cell phones. Allowing kids to go online without supervision or ground rules is like allowing them to explore a major metropolitan area by themselves. You can’t watch your kids every minute, but you can use strategies to help kids navigate this online world.”
In 2006, the NCMEC and Cox Communications surveyed over 1,000 teens about online safety and their online habits. (Read stat) The most important points that I want you to take away from this evening are to COMMUNICATE with your kids, and EDUCATE yourself. Communication suggestions (Open/ ongoing/ dangers will change as children mature) Education suggestions (Kids are more adept than we are when it comes to understanding how these technologies work. Ask them to teach you.)
“ Instant messaging is extremely popular with kids and teens because it saves time AND it keeps parents from understanding what’s being said. It’s crucial that you famaliarize yourself with commonly used acronymns.
“ Teach your kids to use careful judgment before posting anything online. A college admissions office may decline an applicant due to a photo from a party with underage drinking. Or an online predator could use the personal information to exploit a child’s insecurities.”
Likewise, talk to your kids about webcams. Unless grandma is living in another state--and you are supervising a web camera use--there is no reason for a child to have a web cam. Keep in mind that a lot of laptops and cell phones have cameras built in. Photos can be easily copied and altered to humiliate someone.
“ Cyberbullies use the Internet to say and do terrible things because there is no face-to-face contact, and they don’t see the immediate consequences to their cruel actions. Bullying is not limited to the school yard--it can be a 24/7 problem and a source of tremendous stress for those being bullied”
Above is an example of what I was referring to in terms of details which can reveal a location. The name of the team, combined with the personal information listed in their profile, makes their location easy to trace. 64% of teens post photos or videos of themselves, while 58% post information about where they live. 1 1 Cox Communications Inc., National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and John Walsh. Teen Internet Safety Survey, Wave II . Atlanta, GA: Cox Communications Inc., 2007.
"Creating your own profile take about 10 minutes, tops. Once you and your child are online “friends”, you will be able to review your child’s profile at any time.” Keep in mind, that some kids have more than 1 profile. In fact, kids may have a “safe” profile that they share with their parents, and a “real” profile that they use to interact with the rest of the world.
This incident occurred near Allentown, PA , just this past year (explain story). It’s a good example of why we as parents and educators need to think beyond the computer in terms of online safety. We need to consider cell phones, web cams and even video games.
It’s important to think about your child’s Internet use like you would any other area where rules and limits are appropriate. A good analogy would be driving the family car.
Safeguarding options can be helpful, but they do not replace good communication and established rules for Internet use. If you choose to use one of these methods, keep in mind that your child may be able to disable these safeguards.
The ICACs work closely with the National Center on CyberTip reports, as well as with other state, local, federal, and even international law enforcement agencies. Pennsylvania’s ICAC is located in Delaware County and is comprised of over 50(?) affiliates state-wide. Last year, the PA ICAC received over 1,000 (?) CyberTip reports. We do not encourage cyber vigilantes
How many of you are familiar with this story? (Recap). While the behavior of the parent is unusual, other children have also responded to severe cyberbullying by committing suicide.
For Your Consideration…“Bullying poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child.” (Olweus)
Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Ways to Bully Subtle Intimidation or Overt Discrimination = loss or destruction of self-esteem Bullies rely on fear Bullies exert power
Study of Children Who Bully:-60% of boys who bullied in middleschool had at least one conviction byage 24.40% had three or more (Olweus)
Impact on the VictimEveryday ~160,000 students stay home from school due to the fear of being bullied (Vail, 1999)15% - 25% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency (Nansel et al, 2001)
Kids & Teens Use the Internet Daily Research, Read, Write Blog, Make Sites, Create Social Networks Search for Colleges & Jobs Share Photos & Videos Chat / Instant Message (IM) Play Games Download Music, Movies
Internet Safety 101Inappropriate content: Pornography Hateful, racist, and violent material Details of illegal activity Obtaining drugs, alcohol How to make drugs, explosives Gambling websites
The Internet is Everywhere The Internet is accessible from almost any location and portable devices Kids need your help navigating the Internet to avoid its risks
Your Child’s Online Life 33% of 13 to 17-year-olds reported that their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about what they do on the Internet. (Source: NCMEC & Cox Communications.) Communicate with your kids about online safety Educate yourself about the Internet and related technologies
What’s Your IM IQ?MOS Mom Over ShoulderCD9 Code 9: Parents NearbyA/S/L? Age, sex, location?GNOC! Get Naked On Camera!MIRL Meet in real life
You Can’t Take It Back!Online profiles and blogs can also be viewed by: Parents, guardians, and relatives Teachers and principals Colleges and universities Employers ONLINE PREDATORS If it’s on the Internet, IT’S NOT PRIVATE.
You Can’t Take It Back!Photos and videos should never be posted online ifthey show: Backgrounds that reveal identifying information Sexually provocative poses Too much skin
WHAT IS CYBER-BULLYING?- When a child is tormented, harassed, embarrassed, threatened, or humiliated repeatedly by another child or group of children- Occurs online or through another electronic device- Research indicates that at least half of middle and high school students have been bullied online at least once!
CYBER-BULLY vs. PLAYGROUND BULLY ANONYMOUS – Cyber-bullies can hide their identities online NO SUPERVISION online – on the playground, adults are usually watching! CONTINOUS VICTIMIZATION Most kids have cell phones or Internet access constantly
COMMON PLACES… Instant Messaging Email Social Networking Facebook, Myspace, MyYearbook, Stickam, YouTube Cell Phones Text Messages Apps - iPhone’s “Ugly Meter”
Cyber-Bullying Matters 19% of teens report being harassed or bullied online The incidence is higher among kids 16- and 17- year- olds at 23% 85% of incidents occur when youth are at home
• Information can be inadvertently revealed in pictures• Sexually provocative pictures can be used for exploitation
How to Create Safer Social Networking Make your own profile and add your children as friends Learn the site’s safety features Have children use privacy settings Teach kids to add only friends they know in real life Examine their list of friends and browse their friends’ pages
Facebook Security Facebook allows it’s users to download a copy of their profile to a zip file that Facebook stores. This information can be provided to Law Enforcement in the event an incident occurs involving a Facebook Profile. Parents with access to their childs profile can download this information and provide a copy to LEA for their investigation. This includes photos, videos, posts, messages, friends lists, and other content shared with others.
Download Profile Access “Account” from drop down menu in upper right corner Choose “Account Setting” At bottom of menu choose “Download Your Information, Learn More” Choose “Download”
What is “sexting”? The sending or receiving of sexually- suggestive or explicit text or pictures via one’s cell phone, web cam or other electronic means.
How widespread is this problem? One in five teens (13-19 years) of age have sent/posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys sent these photos in hopes of dating or hooking up with the person receiving the photos 51% of girls say they have felt pressure from a guy to send nude photos 33% of boys admit to having looked at nude or semi nude images - originally meant for someone else The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Real life imitates life online What teens are doing electronically seems to have an effect on what they do in real life: 22% admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive. 38% say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely. 29% believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
Tragic ConsequencesAfter his former girlfriend taunted him, Phillip Alpert remembered the nude photos she e-mailed to him while they were dating.He took revenge with an electronic blast — e-mailing the photos of the 16-year-old girl to more than 70 people, including her parents, grandparents and teachers.
Teen committed suicide over ‘sexting’ Jesse Logan was taunted about photo she sent to boyfriend February 15, 1990 - July 3, 2008
Cell Porn Scandal Hits Pa. High SchoolALLENTOWN, PA. January 24, 2008 (AP) “Police faced a difficult if not impossible task Thursday as they tried to stop the spread of pornographic video and photos of two high school girls, images that were transmitted by cell phone to dozens of the girls classmates and then to the wider world.”
Discussion PointsScenario 1 Boyfriend breaks up with the girl then sends the image to 20 of his friends who then send it to their friends. Charge Don’t charge
Discussion PointsScenario 2 The original girl commits suicide as the result of her picture being shared all over the Internet. Charge Don’t charge
What Can Parents & Schools Do?Set rules for Internet use: What sites can your child visit? Whom can they talk to online? How much time can they spend online? Keep the computer in a common room (not in secluded areas like a bedroom or basement)
What You Can DoConsider safeguarding options: Filtering applications restrict access to inappropriate material Monitoring software records websites visited, chat conversations, and other content
What You Can Do Tell your child not to respond to harassing messages Save the evidence Set up a new account for your child and lock them out of the old one If you believe your child is in immediate danger, contact your local law-enforcement agency.
What You Can DoCommunicate: Encourage your child to confide in you about anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused while online Prepare yourself beforehand for what they may tell you
What We Do Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces Coordination with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) Coordination with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies
Megan Meier The New York Times August 3, 2008 “Megan Meier, 13, began receiving nasty messages from a boy after a few weeks of an online flirtation with him, via her MySpace account, ending with one that suggested “the world would be a better place” without her. Megan, believing she had been rejected by "Josh," completed suicide in her home.”
Megan Meier- 13 years old- The “Unattractive Girl”- Catholic School, MO- Completed Suicide on: October 17, 2006- A mother was Charged & Convicted (conviction was later overturned)
Megan Meier- The “Bullies” used: - MySpace (created a “hoax” account and used it to post “mean” comments)
Phoebe Prince- 15 years old- The “New Girl”- South Hadley High School, Mass.- Completed Suicide on: January 14, 2010- 5 Students Charged
Phoebe Prince- The “Bullies” used: - Facebook - Twitter - Craigs List - Formspring
Phoebe PrinceYou do not want to have to hold a vigil at your school
RESOURCES Cyber-bullying Research Center – www.cyberbullying.us National Center for Bullying Prevention - www.pacer.org/bullying/index.asp STOP Cyberbullying – www.stopcyberbullying.org/ Netsmartz – www.netsmartz.org National Center for Missing & Exploited Children - www.cybertipline.com