Troubled Teens And Internet Safety
Troubled teens find a type of haven on the internet. They can block out any information that they do not want to hear and congregate with their like minded peers. It is a very insular world, leading the teen into the illusion that they are hidden and secure. They tend to spill their guts. Personal secrets, family secrets, casual statements about acquaintances. They comment on it all, not thinking beyond their cyber world walls. And they are getting their parents in trouble.
Everyone from companies vetting prospective employees, to colleges considering student applications, to police looking for illegal activities, the net has eyes and ears and technology to intrude.
“I’ve represented a lot of parents who’ve come to me when they have been fired, they’ve been demoted, or they’ve been called on the carpet because of what their kids posted online,” said attorney and Internet safety expert Parry Aftab.
Aftab says many teens still don’t get it, that their posts on networking and blogging sites are not private.
“I always warn kids never to post anything that parents, principal, or predators can’t see. Now, I have to warn them not to post anything that their parents’ boss or anybody in their neighborhood shouldn’t be seeing either,” said Aftab.
Sergeant Corey MacDonald, a New Hampshire police officer, agrees. He tours the country speaking about Internet safety and says police and employers are watching. They’re looking for — and finding — all kinds of dirt.”
By Ann Walker