Is the Chat Room Your Child is Using Safe?

By: Rosalyn Bronstein


Have you ever stopped to think about how safe the chat room your child is using is? If it happens to be AOL, MSN, or something similar, your child is in an open environment where anyone can enter and pretend to be anyone they choose.

An NBC television ‘Dateline’ hidden camera investigation on 24 September 2004, revealed that predators were actively engaged in luring teenagers into meetings for the purpose of having sex. Many were specifically looking for children who were underage.

With help from “Perverted Justice", an online vigilante group, volunteers posing as underage children went into chat rooms and before very long, were engaged in conversation with these men, who were eager to gather personal information – including addresses. Some suggested visiting inappropriate web sites. One man, a firefighter, used a webcam to video while sexually stimulating himself – then verified that the “child" could see what he was doing.

During the two days ‘Dateline’ undertook their investigation, a steady stream of male visitors went to the address given by the “child", in the hopes of having sex with her.

Instead, they found themselves face to face with a television reporter and camera crew.

Since chat rooms are a way of life for many, it’s important for them to find ways of eliminating the risks while still being able to use these useful tools. Simply trying to filter out undesirables isn’t enough – some will invariably get through. And these may be the most dangerous -- and clever – because they know how to avoid detection.

As responsible adults and concerned parents, we decided to address the problems of user safety and security when communicating on the Internet and built a web site that provides a safe and secure environment for ourselves and our children.

That web site is www.Ntouch4Families.com.

The web site puts you in charge of your online environment where only those who are members of your family or circle of friends can interact with you and your children.

Since you control who is in your 'family hub', you can be sure that there will be no inappropriate advertising or viruses sent to either you or your children, or that people who are not known to you are talking to your children when they are online at www.Ntouch4Families.com.

With the increased mobility of 21st Century living, more and more people are locating in communities distant from relatives, due to job requirements or retirement. This is an ideal form of communication. It’s also perfect for children away at college. Grandparents have found using this innovative site, with its wide array of features, a wonderful way to bond with grandchildren and keep abreast of domestic activitiesFeature Articles, as well as a means of leaving a legacy -- in text and pictures -- they will treasure for generations.

Kids and Teens
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