No sing up just for preverts chat

And precisely 0 of the 1,501 children said they had been sexually contacted or assaulted due to online solicitations.

This seems significant to me, given that 21% of all children -- statistically, hundreds of the children in the phone survey -- are sexually abused (by some definition of the term) before age 18.

It gives me a chance to stay in touch with my current friends, make new friends, meet interesting people, and find a group where I feel like I belong.

I chat to other people almost every night, or whenever I get the chance to.

Education and empowerment are key." In my opinion, that's exactly right.

But I wonder how effectively government will be able to help alleviate the problem.

The witnesses were Katie Tarbox, who in 1995, at age 13, had been inadequately briefed on the "rules of the net" and disasterously agreed to meet a child predator she'd chatted with online; two local law enforcement personnel, John Karraker and Jim Gregart; Ruben Rodriguez, the Director of the Exploited Child Unit for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Caroline Curtin, the Director of Children's Policy for AOL; and Kathleen Tucker, the Director of Curriculum Development for I-Safe America.

Everyone was concerned about keeping children safe online.

Last week, I contacted three students, ages 14 to 17, and asked them about their experiences chatting online.I do not see chatting on-line as being dangerous, or otherwise harmful.Sure you always hear those stories about 12 year old girls chatting with 45 year old men, but I see online chatting as a way for people with similar interests to discuss and debate interesting topics. I strongly believe that if you chat online with people that you do not know personally, you should figure out what this person is really like, and if you can trust them or not.) -- thus allowing children to verify that screen name Britney Rulez333 does not actually belong to a 45-year-old man. Just as they learn to cross the street without holding an adult's hand, so they need to learn how to wander the internet safely."The value of empowering our children, through education," she concluded, "with the knowledge and critical-thinking skills that they need to be able to assess the every-day situations they will encounter while online cannot be overstressed...

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