Police help parents protect kids on Internet - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police help parents protect kids on Internet

February 16, 2004

Albany -- Whether your child's surfing on the Net, predators are a danger. The Internet can be more perilous than many parents realize.

Albany Police will conduct a class this weekend to teach parents how to protect their kids when they go on-line. Eighth grader William Kress likes to go on the Internet for fun. Kress said "Most of the time, at home , yes."

William loves to check the sports pages, but stays away from chat rooms. Albany Police Planning and Research Manager Michael Tilson says his parents are doing a good job, because there are predators lurking on line. "It is happening. Any day of the week."

To prove his point, Tilson logged onto a Yahoo Romance Chat Line, and typed in that he was a 13-year-old girl. Within seconds, messages from adult men poured in. Tilson said "All these guys are starting to pick up that there is a new girl in the room, and they are just sending instant messages."

Within three minutes, 22 messages from adult men enticing Tilson's 13-year-old girl were on line. Tilson said "Go in there and state like I just did, 13 for 13 years, F for female, and GA for Georgia. See where they are. Now I can just sit back and they are coming at it. I wouldn't even be able to keep up."

Tilson's class Saturday will teach parents who don't know a lot about computers, how to protect their children when they are on-line. "One who bought their child a computer and put it a corner or in their room. And said here you go, if you need help call your friends, because I don't know much about it. Those are the parents that we'd like to come to our class."

Tilson will lead The Internet and Your Child Saturday at the Teacher's Academy in Albany, from 8:30 to 4:30. It is for adults only, and the class is limited to 20 adults.

But for parents struggling with computers, it could be a life saver for their child.

You need to pre-register if you would like to take the Internet and Your Child safety class. To sign up call 431-3334

posted at 4:17 PM by jimw@walb.com

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