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What Kids Are Doing Online

Boot Camp feature for Monday, May 10, 1999

When it comes to what your kids are doing online, maybe you don't want to know. But you should. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. It was a study conducted by the Children's Software Review. Ten young people, between 12 and 16, were asked to tell the truth about what they were doing online. It was anonymous and moms and dads would not be told. The results...

"All of these kids have used the Internet to sort of explore forbidden territory."

Managing editor Ellen Wolock says all ten said they had used the web to view pictures or videos of explicit sex...

"Curiosity, pretty much, has gotten the best of all these kids, including boys and girls."

Even if you tell your kids not to and use filtering software it seems they'll find a way. Usually when you're not at home, or maybe at a friend's house...

"We suggest that if you find your child is going to places where you don't want them to go or being exposed to things that you worry about, we suggest that you try to talk openly to your child without embarrassment."

One good rule is to not put a computer in a private area of the house, especially in the kid's room. And make sure they know never to give out their name or address to anyone online. All of the kids in the study said they had been approached for personal information. You can find more about the publication at childrenssoftware.com