Posted by: ACFE Inc | May 5, 2011

Are your kids cyber safe?

No one could argue that the internet is an amazing technological development. It puts a world of knowledge and information at our fingertips and makes it easier to keep in touch with far-away family and friends. However, technology–such as the internet and text messaging–has also meant all new social complications for our children, and new worries for parents.

The advent of cyber-bullying is one such worry, and the tragic story of Megan Meier illustrates the fatal extreme children can be brought to through the cruelty made possible by the anonymity the internet provides. Bullies no longer have to be face-to-face with their victims, and their methods of inflicting harm may be even more creative and painful–such as creating false accounts through Myspace or Facebook and using these to manipulate others’ feelings or lives, as was the case for Megan.

Tina Meier, Megan’s mother, started the Megan Meier Foundation and travels around the country speaking about the dangers of cyber-bullying. She will be speaking at locations around the Delaware Valley in connection with Cybersafe Philly; don’t miss her while she’s in our area.

Widespread access to the internet means that parents must not only monitor their children’s internet usage but stay in communication with them–about what they are doing online, and what the consequences of their actions online are. We mentioned them before, but myi.com is going to be a great resource in this area for keeping the lines of communication open with your child to talk about what appropriate behavior online looks like–and what it doesn’t. Mostly importantly, we must not assume that these issues only arise with “other people’s” children.

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