As more and more students become internet users, we need to educate them about the possible dangers associated with this tool. We need to be aware of how our children are using technology, what sites they are visiting, and how they are communicating with their peers.
Please look for meetings featuring NetSmartz Internet Safety presentations in our schools and throughout the Andover community. View more internet safety tips.
Instant Messaging (IM) is very popular with young people. We need to be aware and make our children aware that predators have accessed IM lists and have posed as teenagers.
I have watched a teenager (not at school) IM with at least 15 people. The messenger alerted her when any of her friends logged on, and she, in turn, greeted the newcomers with record speed, all while carrying on conversations with many other people. If you have not witnessed this phenomenon, you are missing something very interesting.
These young people have a set of shortcuts that allows them to get their messages out at warp speed. For example, "POS" (parent over shoulder) lets friends know that a parent has entered the room. See a list of acronyms that are commonly used by IM users.