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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY




Our first story is about a young lady who got caught up in what is arguably the most dangerous form of online activity for children, youth and teens….engaging in Instant Messaging, or I/M as it is called for short, with a stranger that she was fooled into believing was her friend and agreed to meet offline without telling her parents or a trusted adult! Even though the vast majority of online chat sessions are completely innocent, harmless, and never results in placing the young vulnerable and impressionable surfer in harms way…..it only takes one bad experience for them to find out that “Sometimes Smiling Faces Tell Lies” and the person behind them aren’t what and whom they say they really are! Although we cannot monitor our children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we can better prepare them through education, communication, establishing clear and firm rules for their internet useage, utilizing available technology designed to safeguard and protect them and last, but certainly not least, by teaching our children to exercise common sense, not only while online but in their daily lives as a whole! This is the beginning of our story, but how it ends will be up to you……..

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


Ah... There he is...

A Girl (Lek) in her room with a computer, she’s “chatting” with an online “friend,” (Z-Boy-nickname) that she has met online a few months ago but has never met face to face. She thinks he’s a cool guy that she knows really well because they have chatted online for a long time (2 months) and have shared many private details about themselves with each other.

click click Hey Z… U online?

Z-Boy: Here... Watcha do’n? LEK: Not much and U? Z-BOY: Just hanging, playing games and listening to my IPOD LEK: I’m bored out of my mind Z-BOY : U alone or are your parents home? LEK: Yeah, they’re downstairs watching TV or something. I’m supposed to be doing my homework but it ain’t happening.

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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Z-BOY: Hey, U down for some adventure?

LEK: Yeah, sure… wassup?

Adventure??

Z-BOY: We’ve been hanging online for a long time, let’s hook up and meet!

um.... but....

LEK: You mean like face to face? Z-BOY: Yep, you down or what??

LEK: Ahhh….. errr….

Hmmm…I dunno… I’ve heard of people doing this before and bad things have happened!! Maybe this isn’t such a good idea???

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


Z-BOY: What’s up, I thought we were friends?? You’re not scared are you??

“Z-BOY’s right, he’s my friend and I have his picture, phone number, I know all about his family and friends and everything…… so I know he’s ok”

Z-BOY: If you don’t think it’s cool I’ll understand, I really like you and I thought we are friends but maybe I was wrong??

Oh no!!! Is he mad at me? LEK starts to feel guilty and starts to worry that Z-BOY is getting angry and might not want to be her friend any more, so she ignores her feelings and agrees to meet Z-BOY at his house.

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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LEK : .... NO.... LEK: No, you’re right…we are friends Z-BOY…Best friends (LEK Smiles as she thinks she’s in love)! I’ll meet you, but let me finish my homework first before I go so my parents don’t get on my case.

Z-BOY: No prob, just buzz me when you’re ready to leave…I can’t wait to see you baby!

- One hour later LEK goes downstairs to show her parents that she has finished her homework and tells them that she is tired and wants to go to bed early LEK: Okay Mom… Okay Dad,

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


I’m tired, I think I’ll go to bed early tonight… I have a big test tomorrow during first period and I want to do well so I‘d better get some sleep!

LEK gives each of her parents a hug and a kiss goodnight and then heads back upstairs so she can sneak out the window to see her friend Z-BOY. Love you guys, goodnight!

Ok sweetheart, love you too, sleep well.

Ok dear, I’ll wake you up early in the morning so you can eat a good breakfast before you go to school, goodnight.

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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LEK: Hey Z-BOY, you still there? I’m finished with my homework and ready to leave

Z-BOY: Wow, I waited so long, I thought you had changed your mind about meeting me or something!!!

LEK: No way, I just had lots of homework to do but I’m ready to leave now. What about your parents, won’t they wonder where you are or come to check on you??? LEK: Don’t worry, I got it all handled, I’m a big girl now and they trust me very much…. I told them that I have a big test in the morning at school and I was tired and wanted to go to sleep early, they won’t bother me until the morning so we’re cool! Z-BOY: Cool, here’s my address (Z-BOY I/ M’s LEK his address: 1567 Overbank, by the river. On the corner of X street and Maple at the end of the street… Lek thinks it’s Z-Boy’s real address… little does she know that Z-BOY has given her the address of an abandoned house that he has fixed up to make it seem like he lives there. Tech savvy Z-Boy even has mobile internet access on his laptop so his trap was fairly easy to set and it looks like he’s caught an innocent and unsuspecting prey in his net!

LEK: Oh, I know where that’s at…. that’s not too far, I can ride my bike there in about 20 minutes…. See you soon

Z-BOY: It’s so exciting to finally meet in person!

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


Lek: Hey Z-Boy, before I go I wanted to ask you if you’ve heard anything about the exciting contest about online and offline safety where people can win 500,000 baht and lots of other cool prizes? Z-Boy: Nope, haven’t heard anything about it, what’s it all about? Z-Boy: I could buy you a lot of nice things with 500,000 baht!! Lek Smiles and thinks: He’s sooooo sweet, maybe we can work together to win the top prize?? What is she talking about now; I don’t care about some stupid contest about online and offline safety, it’s guys like me that her parents and teachers warn dumb and naive girls like her about!

Lek: Well, all you have to do is buy this safety comic book called

“DANGER LURKS AND LAY WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY” and it will give you clues inside that you have to follow to a website where you have to register and then answer a few safety questions from the book to qualify for the grand prize.But the contest is only open to currently registered

school students

like us and their immediate family members. Z-Boy: Sounds cool, where can I buy this comic and what’s the website address? Lek: I bought it at my school, check at your school tomorrow or you can go to the publisher’s website to find a place close to you where you can get it. Their main website is www.leapingsmart.com and the website where you can register for the contest is: www.leapsmartandgetpaid.com

DANG!! Well, that leaves me out….. these people are smart to have rules to keep guys like me out of it… DANG IT!!

Ok, sounds like I had better hurry up and get a copy of the comic and go to the website and register so I can win! Z-Boy: We can talk more about it when you come to see me…hurry up, ok sweetheart! DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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Stupid girl, this time it took less than 2 months‌.. this is getting easier and easier every time!!!

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


-ABOUT 20 MINUTES LATER AS LEK APPROACHES THE ADDRESS THAT HER FRIEND Z-BOY HAD GIVEN HER SHE STARTS TO WORRY A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE THE HOUSE IS AT THE END OF A DARK ALLEYWAY –BUT THEN SHE THINKS TO HERSELF-

.........

Hmmm, it’s so dark down there…. I wonder if I have the right address???

Maybe I should go back home???

Just as she was going to turn around and go back home Lek hears a voice calling her from the back of the alley…it’s Z-BOY and he’s shinning a flashlight.

Hey Lek, where are you going… I’m here, come on down

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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It’s ok baby, it’s me, your friend Z-BOY!!!

I’m sorry, I was a little nervous because it’s so dark and I can’t see much, keep shinning the light so I can see…I’ll be right there.

Lek starts to slowly peddle her bike towards the light and her friend Z-Boy

Ok, just follow the light.

Lek gets to the end of the alley and Z-BOY takes her nervous hand and tells her to come on into his house so that they can see each other

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Wow, why are your hands shaking?… Relax…you’re safe now….come on in so we can really get to know each other

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


I guess it’s ok, you are Z-BOY, aren’t you??? Yes silly…. come on in

As Z-Boy opens the door to his makeshift place and the light finally shines brightly enough for Lek to see exactly what Z-Boy looks like she is puzzled at first and then upset that her Prince Charming has turned into a toad… an old ugly toad at that!

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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wh... what?!

Aren’t you a little old for me?

Z-Boy slams the door shut

OLD? age is just a number and I like yours so Come on – let’s play!

I….don’t want to play…I want to go home now!!! this wasn’t a good idea to come here!

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


Sure it was ….. have a drink… it’s time to party baby!!!

! ! ! O!

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Instant messaging For today’s Net generation, instant messaging (IM) has replaced the telephone as the most popular way of communicating with friends. Kids rush home from school, log on and continue schoolyard conversations, often staying online for hours. Instant messaging is a great cost-free tool for kids to communicate with friends, keeping in touch with people in faraway places and for coordinating school projects. Many parents confuse instant messaging with chat rooms when their kids say they are ‘chatting’ online. While both technologies involve talking in ‘real time,’ there are important differences that have safety implications. A chat room is a place on the Internet where you can talk to anyone anywhere in the world. Imagine opening up an international phone book, picking out random strangers and calling them. Instant messaging is a safer environment because it permits users to select the people they want to talk with. Users create contact lists of friends to chat

with and can block people they don’t know or don’t want to communicate with. While kids have some control over who they talk to, it’s still possible to talk with strangers using IM, so do not relax your guard by thinking that Instant messaging is completely safe, because it isn’t! The prestige associated with a large instant messaging contact list means some kids have over 100 IM ‘friends,’ many of whom they’ve never met. Kids feel freer to say things online that they would never say face-to-face, so instant messaging can be used to spread rumors and gossip. For many kids, this means that home is no longer a refuge from the peer pressures of school. Most IM programs encourage users to fill out a ‘personal profile’ which includes detailed personal information. Once completed, this profile is available to anyone on the Internet who wants to pull it up and read it. Kids should be taught to never fill out these kinds of profiles online, give out personal information and most of all it’s best to NEVER AGREE to meet strangers offline that they have made online.

Tip: Education, Communication and Common Sense are three excellent ways to ensure that your child is chatting safely.

Look for these Icons website chat areas or your instant messaging chat interface to report online abuse, inappropriate conduct, if you feel threatened or if you just have an online or offline safety related question.

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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smiling faces tells lies