The Internet has developed into a valuable informational resource for all of us, especially our children. In fact, all schools nowadays require them to master the power of the Internet for their schoolwork. And yet the Internet also exposes our children to many potential dangers, from online predators to cyberbullying to sexting, even performing illegal activity themselves both knowingly and unknowingly.
To make matters worse, as the Internet evolves so do the dangers to our children. For example, social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook have only been around a very short time. Another complicating factor is the naivete our children bring to the use of such websites. Often they readily place personal, identifying information about themselves out on the Internet which can easily be found by those who intend to do them harm.
ABOUT S.T.O.P. THEN SEND
In response, District Attorney Madeline Singas makes available to our County, residents prosecutors from her office who investigate and prosecute online crimes. These prosecutors routinely speak at schools and other youth groups to warn our children against the dangers posed to them by the Internet and also provide similar information to parent groups as well.
S.T.O.P. Then Send is done in PowerPoint format and include actual demonstrations of the dangers that currently exist. The children are more captivated by this approach because they can relate better when they are viewing the Internet world they so routinely see every day, and for the parents, it often opens their eyes to a part of the Internet world they rarely, if ever, see.