Host: Can parents assume children are safe while using a computer in their bedroom?
Nancy McBride: We just talked about public venues where kids might face potential risk; let us talk about one in your very own home which is the fact that many parents and guardians keep their children s computers in the child s bedroom thinking they know where their child is so, therefore the child is safe. Now, I want to take this opportunity to say that just because you know where your child is does not mean you know what they are doing on the computer. So, we do recommend that the computer be put in a common area. So, parents and guardians can monitor what is going on, but in this stand age where technology is available in so many places, you also need to know what other venues your child has to access the computer whether it is a friend s house, the school, the library or even their cell phone. Again, that is why it is so important that parents and guardians take the time to sit down and discuss the rules and guidelines with their kids. Explain, why they have those and really monitor and supervise what their kids are doing online. What we have found is that when parents and guardians are not that involved in their kids lives sometimes those kids could be more vulnerable to that online perpetrator who is looking for somebody just like them and they are very cunning, they are very manipulative and they are very patient. So, if your child is looking for that attention elsewhere, there is somebody out there who might be waiting for him or her.