WATPA: FW: Internet Safety Seminar for Parents

From: Norm Jacknis <norm@jacknis.com>
Date: Sat Apr 29 2006 - 23:08:18 EDT

Sent at the suggestion of Josef Sachs [sachs@cyb.org]



April 11, 2006

Spano and DiFiore Announce Seminar for Parents
on Internet Safety -- and What Their Kids Are Doing Online

Myspace, Facebook, Xanga the focus of May 9 adults-only event at the County

 <http://www.westchestergov.com/cybernet> REGISTER NOW

"It's ten o'clock...do you know what your teens are posting on their

Myspace.com, Xanga.com, Facebook.com and other so-called "social networking"
websites are patronized by millions of teens and pre-teens who use them to
share personal information, photos and stories. In most cases, it is
harmless fun. But teens - and their parents - need to understand that there
are inherent risks in these sites that attract strangers, some of whom are

In an effort to educate parents, so they can then educate - and monitor when
necessary - their children's online activities, County Executive Andy Spano
and District Attorney Janet DiFiore are hosting an evening seminar on May 9.
The adults-only event will take place at the Westchester County Center,
White Plains, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The main speaker will be Internet safety expert Parry Aftab, executive
director of Wiredsafety.org, who Westchester teamed up with in 2005 when the
county became the first government in the country to tackle the issue of
cyberbullying. That summit drew more than 600 people.

The May 9 event is free, but registration is required. This can be done
online by logging onto <http://www.westchestergov.com/cybernet>
www.westchestergov.com/cybernet or by calling JoMary Vieira at 995-2912.
Space is limited.

"In most cases, social networking is fun and safe, and the fact is it is not
going to go away," said Spano.

He added, "We want to give parents information so they can have important
age-appropriate conversations with their children. But first parents need to
know what these sites are, how they work and how kids network with others.
We are pleased to bring Parry Aftab back to share practical information
about what parents can do to make sure their kids are safe online."

Commented DiFiore, "Parents need to be far more alert, aware and savvy about
what their children are doing in front of a computer screen. Although the
Internet is to our children what television was to many of us, the
interactivity and immediacy of the online world is a Pandora's box and
parents must educate themselves on what can happen when the lid is raised."

Aftab is executive director of WiredSafety.org (based in Westchester, the
world's largest online safety and help group) and the author of The Parent's
Guide to Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace. Aftab has lectured
nationally to schools and police, as well as other groups.

Said Aftab, "Parents are rightfully concerned that their teens - and in some
cases pre-teens -are posting too much personal information online, agreeing
to meet strangers and acting out, posing in provocative images and engaging
in inappropriate commentary. But it is important that we recognize that our
teens can use these technologies safely. It just requires that they think
before they click."

The seminar will include:

* Discussion of 'social networking - what it is, examples of real
profiles, how kids use it (both good and bad) and potential risks

* Discussion for parents - of general Internet risks, age-appropriate
ways to protect kids and how to stay on top of new technologies

* A panel discussion on how to use social networking safely
Received on Sat Apr 29 23:08:24 2006

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