CBC News: Missing B.C. boy may have met man on internet: “‘I know he goes on the internet all the time with his friends, but I had no idea he was in contact with someone so far away.’ “
I want to call this father an idiot, but he’s not alone – there are way too many parents out there who STILL don’t get the risks associated with the internet. It’s taken talking to stranger to a whole different level.
I don’t have kids but if/when I do I’m sure as heck making sure their IMs and chats are logged. I don’t care if it’s an invasion of privacy – they’d be minors and I’d be their parent. And if I saw they were online but there weren’t any logs – ooooh, they’d be getting it then! (Although I wouldn’t go as far as demanding to see their emails or blogs). Well, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, maybe I would, I’d certainly be supervising them.
I think I was in grade 9 or 10 when we first got internet and I got on chat. That was around 1991. The internet wasn’t everywhere back then like it is now, but let me tell ya, I talked to quite a few pervs online. Sometimes my cousin and I would lead them on just to see what they’d write. In grade 12 (or OAC?) I went with my friend across the border to meet a guy she met online and a couple of his friends. She had talked to him on the phone (and I think at this point she may have met him once in person before too). We were, what, 17? Yeah, needless to say my dad was furious when he found out. I guess we were lucky that the guys were “normal”.
Please, make sure all parents you know are informed about safe computer use. There are too many stories of kids running off to meet strangers and that’s just not right.