Preventing E-Abuse

We're in the middle of Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the sordid world of child abuse and predators soliciting kids has never been more widespread. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, about one in five kids get solicited on-line. Do you know what your kid is looking at today? And I don't mean on TV.

The internet has done many wonderful things in its brief existence, but one of the dark sides is allowing unprovoked, uninvited guests into your kids' world. Make sure you have rules and limits on internet use. Make sure you have access to your kids, not their e-mails, by making sure they know how to make smart decisions. It's no longer just the voyeur driving around or lurking at the mall, it's now the ability to lure impressionable minds over the internet that's both pervasive and perverted.

Instant messaging is great- to real people who everyone knows and trusts. Intimate data should only be given as needed to intimate relations and friends, not in generic chat rooms or blogs. Be fair, be direct, be empathetic, be an advisor, but be aware. Think about it.