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Hi, my name is Bob, I love dogs, but I love people more, and this is why I decided to take a post one of my friends posted else where and place it here.

I live in the Pittsburgh area; I am 49, male and work in the alarm industry. So my main job is keeping people safe. This includes you and your family, where ever you are.

Forums like this are a great way to get information; they are a great way to make friends all over the world with a common liking. This being said, you have some rules you need to follow. One is not giving out information on the internet if you are a young person.

We all know pets are fun to have, Dogs mainly are very fun to have and give us friendship and a feeling of security, but somehow, when we get home, we go on the internet, and forget all about security. Please read this story, If you are a child, have your parents read it with you, If you are a Parent, have your children read it.

Try reading the whole thing without saying to yourself OMG!
This story might very well be fiction, however, if we don't educate our children it could very well be fact. Its something we should all be thinking about!

EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ ALL OF THIS and HAVE THEIR CHILDREN READ IT TOO!

After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213:
Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

GoTo123:
LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

ByAngel213:
Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.

GoTo123:
Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213:
Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123:
Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213:
Yes and we won!!

GoTo123:
That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213:
We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

GoTo123:
What is your team called?

ByAngel213:
We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.

GoTo123:
Did you pitch?

ByAngel213:
No, I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

GoTo123:
Catch you later. Bye.

Meanwhile.......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina
Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived i n Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School . She had told him all this in the conversations they had on-line. He had enough information to find her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always over-reacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.

By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.
Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely.

He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon 's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon 's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

'Shannon, come here,' her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

'Sit down,' her father began, 'this man has just told us a most interesting story about you.'

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

'Do you know who I am, Shannon ?' the man asked.

No, Shannon answered.

'I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123.'

Shannon was stunned. 'That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan !'

The man smiled. 'I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see, Shannon , there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze.'

Shannon was stunned. 'You mean you don't live in Michigan ?'

He laughed. 'No, I live in Raleigh . It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?'

She nodded.

'I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too?'

'It's a promise!'

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all knelt down together and thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.
Now I know you are saying to your self, But Frenchy, you just told us where you live, most of us know your dogs name and breed… is that not a bit against the rules?

It would be if I was a child, but it is important you know who I am and what I do so the message gets to where it needs to be.
Every year, children go on the internet and meet other people, some times real friendships are made, other times, they are brought into a situation they can no longer control.

Here are some basic rules you need to follow as a child anywhere on the internet:

  • Never say where you are from.
  • Never tell any one you are a child or your age.
  • Never give out your real name to online friends.
  • Never talk about specifics regarding your activities.
  • Never trust online friends who say they want to meet you some where.
  • Never give out your school name, or the names of parks you go to or store / mall names.
  • As a child never say where you will be showing your dog or pets.
  • Never post or send a “friend” a picture of yourself.
  • If you believe some one is stalking you, always tell your parents or a teacher at school. Even if it is some one trying to get information from you on the internet. You need to protect yourself, and ask your parents to help you.
  • Never tell any one you are home alone. Like we see in that story, it is very easy for some one to be sneaky and get enough information to come to your home.
  • Always remember, just like the real world out there, the internet can be a busy place and people can drop information about you. The least they know, the better you are.
  • If you feel like you are getting in trouble with a member on a forum like this, notify the administrators or moderators. They can help you modify your posts and or profile so that you are more protected.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Continued

I have been on the internet for years, some times on my own chat, some times on others, and I have seen predators out there. I have seen first hand how they work.
If you feel that you may have some one that asked too many questions about you please tell your parents and contact your local law agency.

You have the right to be safe on the internet. Use common sense rules, stay safe. There are many wonderful places you can use and be safe. This can be one of them, but you need to remember the basic rules.

Administrators and Moderators on a board such as this need to be vigilant and ready to correct any actions they see that they believe might place you in jeopardy. If they need to modify your post and remove some thing that could cause your identity to be found, don’t question them, they are doing it for your own good.
Most adults want you to be safe, there are a few however, that just want to find you. You as a child are a beautiful person; don’t let any one tell you otherwise. But you need to stay safe and alert to problems.
Talk to your parents often about what you do and who you talk to on the internet. If your parents will not listen, go to an adult at school, the principal, a guidance person.
There are many groups out there on the net that want you safe. Cyber tip line is one FEMA for kids is an other, Get net Wise is also out there, Wired Safety is yet one more group. SO you see, there are people that are ready to protect you and for a good reason. You are our future. That in my eyes, is very important.

Frenchy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cyber tipline

Be it anywhere, you can use the cyber tip line, if you can get to a computer, log on to The Cyber tip line fill in the info and send it off.
This sill send the equivalent to a 911 call to a special group of police who will follow up on your lead.

These officers are trained to join chats, search web pages and even forums and blogs.

I want to say why I find it important to say this here.

We all know puppies are a child's best friend. I could just see a child who loves puppies posting too much info on here, then some predator going to the child's school area and claiming he "Lost" his puppy... he could even have a picture of his lost puppy knowing his victim would instantly forget about safety.
It is important we teach our kids and remind them of the dangers out there both on the net and in real life.

By doing this, we make our forums safer and keep alert, we need as responsable citizens and members of forums like this, to be aware of potential dangers and the solutions for them. It is our duty as parents and friends to keep the children safe and out of harms way.
 

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I have to agree-it's likely definitely not true BUT the message needs to get out. Kids and Adults are way too silly about information they make available online!
 

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I always put fake information whenever I can when it comes to anything online.

Not that someone would try to take advantage of a 6'1 male adult..but still!
 

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I always put fake information whenever I can when it comes to anything online.
LOL :p
 

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I don't really chat to many strangers online, but I do not really care if people know the city I live in or my first name, or my age. I figure if someone became "infatuated" with me or had some other creepy perversion that they felt the need to stalk me... it could happen just as easily as someone meeting me at a local grocerry store, the park, etc. and possibly following me home later. Always be cautious about people in every day life just as much as you would with someone online. It isn't much different in my eyes, but I do realize some young girls, and boys may give out too much information. It is also likely that kids may feel more safe online than they do in every day life cause they think a person could never find them. I say treat the online world just as you would meeting a stranger in person.
 

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I don't really chat to many strangers online, but I do not really care if people know the city I live in or my first name, or my age. I figure if someone became "infatuated" with me or had some other creepy perversion that they felt the need to stalk me... it could happen just as easily as someone meeting me at a local grocerry store, the park, etc. and possibly following me home later. Always be cautious about people in every day life just as much as you would with someone online. It isn't much different in my eyes, but I do realize some young girls, and boys may give out too much information. It is also likely that kids may feel more safe online than they do in every day life cause they think a person could never find them. I say treat the online world just as you would meeting a stranger in person.
I agree. But I think that you don't just go up to some random person and say, Hey I like to do X things, I live in X City, and I look like X. Online it is so much easier to be fooled.
 
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