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Kids, The Net and Surfing Safely

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Kids, the Internet and surfing safely. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a ThirdAge.com report on computers and technology. You know just from looking at junk email how bad a place the Web can be for kids. But one of the most well known experts in the field of Internet safety for kids, Parry Aftab points out...

"The greatest risk your children face in connection with the Internet is being denied access. We no longer can say... not my kid, not going there. If you do that all you're doing is keeping your child behind in school, the ability to communicate and job training skills."

Aftab is the author of "The Parent's Guide to Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace" and she says a new survey has found plenty of reason to worry...

"It's not a surprise to me. I talk to thousands of kids every month. But what we're learning is, pretty much across the country, twelve percent of the kids are meeting strangers offline. About sixty percent are sharing personal information on the Internet by filling out forms. We are finding that about sixty percent are admitting to having some type of cyber-sex or cyber-sexual discussions on the Internet."

The key is for parents to get involved and know what their kids are doing online. A great place to turn for help is a site called Cyberangels.org, which has just come out with this year's Kids Best of the Web awards. You'll find links from our home on the Web at ThirdAge.com Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, for CBS News.