Parents Encouraged to Sign Internet Safety Agreement with Children

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In response to the recent arrest of a Los Angeles man alleged to have used social media to lure 100 children to exchange lewd photographs, one of whom was just 11 years old, the Accident Attorneys Organization has created a downloadable “Family Media and Technology Safety Agreement” in an effort to help parents protect their children online.

The agreement, available at http://www.accidentattorneys.org, sets online expectations and responsibilities for both parents and children.

“Research shows that 1 in 25 youths have received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact,” said injury attorney Richard Hastings of Hartford, Connecticut, national spokesman for the Accident Attorneys Organization. In the Los Angeles case, police said their suspect admitted to arranging a meeting with one juvenile, although that meeting never took place.

“In 27 percent of the incidents solicitors asked youths for sexual photographs of themselves,” Hastings added, citing research by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. Hastings is a partner in the law firm Hastings, Cohan & Walsh.

The AccidentAttorneys.org guide includes the following promises:

All Family Members

  • We will never give out personal information such as our last name, address, phone number, city where we live, name of our school, or where we work.
  • We will not post or send pictures of others without their permission.
  • We will not give our passwords to anyone outside of the family.
  • We will not talk on the phone, text, or use a device while driving.

Child(ren)

  • I will not create accounts or profiles without my parent’s permission.
  • I will not download files or pictures without my parent’s permission. They may contain viruses.
  • If anyone makes me feel pressured or uncomfortable, or acts inappropriately toward me online, I’ll stop talking to that person and will tell a family member or trusted adult about it.
  • I will never meet with someone in person that I only know online. If someone online asks to meet with me, I will tell a parent right away.

Parent(s)

  • I will initiate regular conversations with my child about his or her online behavior and interests.
  • If I do not understand a device, app, or website that my child uses, I will ask them to explain it to me and show me how it works.
  • I will take the time to learn about social networking, online gaming, and other sites and technology my child uses and enjoys.

The complete agreement includes many other promises that parents and children can make to each other in order to stay safe. There is also a place for each family member to sign and date the agreement.

“Maintaining safe Internet practices as a family can help keep children safe from predators and cyber bullies, and can also protect the entire family from identity theft and other devastating financial scams,” Hastings said.

AccidentAttorneys.org is a nationwide network of highly credentialed accident and injury attorneys with three missions: Help injured people find exceptional lawyers in their area; inform the public about personal safety issues, and support worthy charities involving those who have suffered life-altering injury in the communities we serve.

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Bob Weiss
AccidentAttorneys.org
+1 (303) 298-1676 Ext: 5
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