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Friday, September 17, 2010

Dangers of Skype

Wow.  If your kids use Skype, you have to read this great article by Stephanie Kohl.


Dangers of Internet for children highlighted by Skype incident

September 16, 2010

A 10-year-old Lake Forest girl was chatting with her friends on Skype about the first day of school and some homework assignments recently.

It was not unusual for the student to log into Skype -- which offers free video calls and instant messaging to others on Skype -- on Sept. 1, as she and her friends have been using it for awhile now. So, when a user with a screen name she didn't recognize requested to chat with her, she accepted, thinking it was a friend from the neighborhood, said her mother.

After the request was accepted, a video started. It was a naked, middle-aged man inappropriately touching himself and sending equally inappropriate messages to her. The girl screamed for her mother, who immediately called the police. The incident is still under investigation.

"She got so freaked out that she's not Skypeing anymore," the mother said of her daughter. (The pair wish to remain anonymous.)

Realizing if this happened to her daughter, it could happen to anyone using any online communication tool, the woman shared the incident with her friends. She also told all her children who use Skype and other cyber outlets -- like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter -- to communicate only with their friends and to never respond to requests from people they are not certain they know.

Read the rest of the article here

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