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Ask Parry!

Ask Parry!

Questions and answers

Ask Parry! Ask Parry! is a service where Parry Aftab, noted online safety and privacy expert, and Executive Director of can answer your questions about online safety, privacy and security, and help you with problems you encounter online. Anything from help finding a safe chat room for your teens, to knowing what to do if the item you bought at auction doesn't arrive as promised.

Dear Parry

My ten year old son just received an x-rated e-mail. I opened it before him because it said "broken Barbies" and I thought maybe one of his friends was joking around.

How do these X-rated sites get minor's addresses? I am so upset. What if he had seen it?

How do I stop it? I also get them frequently too. It makes me so angry.


Concerned Mom

Dear Concerned Mom,

The pornographers gather e-mail addresses of everyone (not knowing if they are children or adults) using harvesting programs that gather every public e-mail address they can find, from e-mail lists, chain e-mails, site registrations and public postings. They probably have no idea that your son is ten, but don't care either. Now a special tipline has been launched by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to report these. Go to, and click on "unsolicited obscene material sent to a child" and report the site you were spammed from.

Good luck. Finally we have a place to report these spammers, and hopefully do something about the horrible practice of spamming our children with obscene materials.

Good luck,

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