New tools in new age present danger to community children
February 22, 2011
Many horrific things can happen to children on the Internet, so Child Youth and School Services provided pre-teens and teens an Internet safety session at the Cody Child Development Center Tuesday.
The session is one of a series of life skills training sessions that informs children on ways they can be safe on the Internet. Children were instructed on what is and is not acceptable on the Internet. The session was led by Army Community Services Community Educator Gale Malone.
''ACS has a wealth of information on life skills. I like to partner with them for our teen program," said Brenda Magnin, workforce prep specialist.
''Sometimes they don't know who they're talking to, kids tell everything; nothing is a secret," Gregory Humbert, CYSS counselor said.
Eight children, ranging in ages from 12 to 16, from the CYSS middle school and teen after school program, attended the first workshop on Internet safety.
Children learned about the dangers of networking on the Internet during the session.
The session also instructed children on things they should not provide, such as their whole names, addresses, phone numbers or any other personal information that allows strangers to know their location.
''It's keeping them safe, making them aware of networking with strangers," Magnin said.
Different types of activities showed the teens how easy it is for strangers to give false identities. To reinforce the dangers, children were shown clips of other children who were not using safe Internet practices and the consequences they received.
''I think I'm going to delete all of my accounts where I can communicate with people. The Internet frightens me," April Chase, 16, said after learning of the dangers.
The session was held to teach children how easy social networking allows people to have access to their personal lives.
Malone also informed the children on geotagging and the dangers it presents. Installation Management Command just released a safety article on geotagging last week.
''I think it's vital that they have this tool to help protect them when they're on the Internet. All these kids, that's what they do, that's how they communicate, it's about having good communication," Magnin said.
Malone also helped the children create screen names that could conceal their true identities.
''Kids are more vulnerable than when I was growing up," Magnin said.
As a final project, children were tasked to create posters on not putting personal information on the web.
''Always be safe, no matter what," Sara Coleman, 14, said as she worked on her poster.