Steps in Meeting People Online safely

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Okay folks, today I would like to explore the pros and cons of Internet interaction. Not sure what I mean by this? I’m referring to the chat rooms, topic forums, dating websites and IM routine. We’ve pretty much all done it. Some of us have even encountered a few stellar individuals on the web. But, there is clearly a downside to meeting people online as well. Just check out the local or world news on occasion. You’ll soon see what I mean. Websites such as Myspace.com are often the subject of current events regarding crime. This is why it’s important to make certain all net surfers in your home are adequately educated first.

The world wide web can be a fun and exciting powerhouse of information, games, products, downloads and technology. People like yourself have been surfing net-land for years now? One of the major phenomenons of the new millennium is internet dating. Are you down with the cyber mingling? Now, don’t take this the wrong way; I see nothing wrong with meeting people online through respectable dating websites and such. However, there are also oodles of children logged into cyberspace that know little about what they’re really doing. They offer way too much information.
Check out some of the data we all have access to on Myspace.com. Some people actually give out their full names, addresses, and cell phone numbers. This is absurd! You never know who might scribble down this information and do some shady recon work. Maybe you’re 16 and some guy you’re chatting with is 47. Sure, he told you he was 16, but that doesn’t make it true. People can say what ever they please when hidden behind a monitor. The point is that meeting people online can prove dangerous or even deadly. Sunday evening I watched a special on Nickelodeon with my daughter. It was about meeting people online and chatting with total strangers. Sadly there was a story with one young girl who was murdered by a man she met on the world wide web. He claimed to be someone he was not simply to lure her in. This is a typical strategy of online predators.

The next time you let one of your children hop on the web, do some safety-proofing beforehand. Talk to them about meeting people online, and what information should not be given out. Tell them to watch for shady comments or requests. These are precautions we all must take now days.

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