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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 WiredSafety.org 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

All I hear on the television and in magazine and newspapers is that the Internet is dangerous for kids. Then you say it’s important for all children to use. Which is it, dangerous or important for children?

Signed,

A confused parent

Dear Confused Parent,

It’s important to your children, but parts and certain practices can be dangerous to children, and even adults sometimes.

But there are ways to limit any risks, and the benefits far outweigh any risks.

Think of the Internet as a telephone, not as a television. It’s the strangers your children talk to, those who reach out to your children, that are the real dangers.

What rules would you set if strangers were allowed to call your home and ask to talk to your children? Just apply that to cyberspace. If they met someone on a bus, would they immediately give their name, address, telephone number, picture, school, etc? I hope not. They can talk about the weather, an upcoming holiday, sports, news…innocent topics. It’s the same online.

Learn from the news broadcasts. They will teach you how to limit the risks. But remember the greatest risk our children face in connection with the Internet is being deprived access.

A few sites are terrific. Visit www.surfswellisland.com, Disney’s Internet safety site. (I helped them build it.) You can find lots of my information from my book at wiredpatrol.org, and if you have any more questions, write me at

Good luck, and enjoy cyberspace!
Parry

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Parts of this Web site were taken from Parry Aftab's book The Parent's Guide to Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace. Marvel and all character names and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc., and are used with permission. TM & © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved. www.marvel.com. Super Heroes is a Co-owned registered Trademark.
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