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Child Internet Safety

posted Jul 5, 2014, 7:31 AM by Craig Cox   [ updated Jul 5, 2014, 7:33 AM ]
The July 5 Wilmington News Journal (USA Today) ran an article on "sextortion", the practice of enticing victims (in the article, usually minors) into sending lewd photos of themselves, and then using the threat of publishing those photos to extort more.  Some key takeaways from the article:
  • Keep lines of communication open with your kids.  Predators (as well as some bullies) try to isolate kids from help by telling them that they (the victims) will get into trouble.  Make sure your kids understand they can always come to you with problems.
  • Monitor your minor child's use of social web sites, if you permit it at all.  Note that the web site that was mentioned in the article,, no longer allows members younger than 18.  (A quick read of's wikipedia page is worthwhile, if your kid had or wanted an account.)
For a more in-depth look at child internet safety, please browse our resource page on the subject.  I also cover this topic in a 30-minute talk, free to any group of college faculty, staff or students.  Please contact me if you'd like to set one up.