Cyber Safety for Children's Sake
by: Pat Hernandez, April 1, 2009 10:04:11 pm
As computer use among youngsters continues to rise, more and more of them are at risk for being victimized by online predators. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was in Houston in his statewide campaign on cyber safety. He says sophisticated, dangerous child predators now ply their trade on the internet.
"It's so important for everyone to understand that when these predators go online targeting their next victim, they use methods to hide their identity."
Diligence by the Attorney General's Fugitive Unit resulted in the arrest of convicted sex offenders including one from Houston, who used the internet in violation of their parole. Abbott also unveiled a series of public service announcements that cable service providers will broadcasting over the next three months. Ray Purser with Comcast, is also vice chairman of the Texas Cable Association. He urges customers to take advantage of the free McAfee Internet security sweep.
"It's a matter of them going to Comcast-dot-net/security, and downloading this free software. It will keep their children safer online. It will keep them from going to sites that they do not want them to visit. It will also help them monitor their children's activity while they're using the internet."
AG Abbott says parents need to monitor the internet activity of their children, from sites being visited, email communications, and even texting.
"If you walk into the room and your child is on the computer, and they're constantly clicking down and closing a window that they were on right before a parent comes in — that's a warning sign. It shows that the child is trying to hide something from their parent."
He says some safety measures parents can take include keeping the computer in a centralized location and establishing and enforcing safety rules.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.
For more information, view the Texas Cable Association website.