Keeping kids safe online is top
priority for spokesman
My Safe Family is a program presented by Mark Hager to enlighten parents and guardians of the dangers of the Internet. It is designed to inform parents and guardians of the potential dangers presented to children in cyberspace. “One out of five children received sexual solicitations from the Internet last year,” noted Hager, a father of three. “The Internet is becoming the tool of choice for pedophiles and cyberstalkers.”
Hager, who resides in the Maryville area, has 12 years of experience in the field of information technology. He has a background in computer support, networking as well as hacker defense. “The Internet is my livelihood and I am not against it,” he commented. “It’s just that computers have become and extension of our children’s lives and many are not aware of the dangers it entails. It didn’t come with an instruction manual (the Internet) so the responsibility lies with the adults to protect the children.”
The seminar covers a well-rounded set of topics that will allow parents and guardians to create a safer Internet environment for their children. Some areas covered in the seminar are:
· Methods and tools used by pedophiles to trap, stalk and abuse children
· Identify if children (or spouses) are doing things online that could bring harm to the family
· Uncover the truth about the overwhelming pull pornography has society
· How to best cope with pornography
· Steps to assure children’s safety while on the Internet
“This is a problem that is growing to epidemic proportion for our children,” stated Hager. “It is something that we as parents and caretakers need to be aware of, address and take part of in to ensure the children’s safety.”
My Safe Family workshops are presented to church groups, PTA/PTO groups, parent groups, or any organization that has the best interest of children in mind. Because of the explicit nature, no child under the age of 18 is allowed to attend the seminar. For additional information, call (865) 3805686 or check the website at www.mysafefamily.org.
Alarming statistics regarding the Internet and children
· 77 million children are expected to be online by the end of 2005
· One in five children has received unwanted sexual solicitation
· Only 25 percent of youth who encounter sexual solicitation in chat rooms tell their parents
· One in four children have had unwanted exposure toned or simulated sexual photos via the Internet in the last year.
· 75 percent of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves or their family
· There are more than 4.2 million pornographic websites on the Internet (12%)
· 50 percent of all homes with Internet access in the U.S. have no protection for their kids while they are online.