Internet not a private world


While there’s no doubt that the Internet has provided us with access to instant information, a venue in which to communicate with people from distances and a source of social networking, there is also little doubt that it does come with some peril.

The Delaware Attorney General’s Office announced earlier this week that it would be holding summer Internet safety presentations to educate kids on protecting themselves online.

“During summer months, kids can be at increased risk of becoming the victim of a predator because of the increase of time available to be online,” said Patricia Dailey Lewes, director of the Family Division. “Being aware of dangers on the Internet and how to avoid them is the critical first step in protecting yourself.”

Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III and his staff have led Internet safety presentations for more than 16,000 young people, educators and parents since the spring of 2007, according to their office. That is a real effort, and for good reason.

“Every time a child goes online, he or she is at risk of being contacted by a predator, with statistics revealing that one in every seven children has been sexually solicited on the Internet,” said Lewes. “That is why an essential part of Attorney General Biden’s fight to protect children from predators is giving kids the real-world tools they need to keep themselves safe online.”

It is important that Biden’s office is making this effort in that education is as important a tool kids can have as anything. Simply understanding the risks, and the magnitude of what’s at stake, could help young people avoid these predators.

However, that is not the only risk online.

A few weeks ago we ran a story about two young girls at a movie theater who were arrested by state police for taking indecent photos of themselves and sending them out over their cell phones. We hear about this kind of thing happening all the time but fear that the young people don’t understand the risk involved in this behavior. Just because you might have sent this photo to one person does not mean it only goes to one person. These photos are constantly forwarded on the Internet and go to hundreds or thousands of other people. It happens all the time.

The Internet is a melting pot — for both good and bad.

To schedule an Internet safety presentation for an organization, call the Attorney General’s office at (302) 577-8288 or send an e-mail to attorney.general@state.de.us.