The Internet Is Nothing to LOL About: and New Book, Racing to Keep Up, Show Parents How to Protect Their Surfers.

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Racing to Keep Up: Talking with Your Kids About Technology Use and Strategies to Protect the Home Computer, a new book by the cofounders of

It's up to the grownups to help set the rules.

If you're a parent and the acronyms IPN, BEG, WTGP, and LMIRL don't mean anything to you, you've got more to worry about than parents of the last century--meaning the 1990s. The rise of the Internet and its communication offshoots, Instant Messaging, File Sharing, Spam, Phishing, and the like, have upped the ante considerably when it comes to protecting your child. IPN (I'm posting naked), BEG (Big evil grin), WTGP (Want to go private?), and LMIRL (Let's meet in real life) are scary enough harbingers of a culture in irreversible decline. When it's declining in the direction of your high schooler--or even middle schooler these days--it's time to do something about it, as Doug Fodeman and Marje Monroe, MSW, have by starting Children Online, a teaching organization designed to educate parents and children about the pitfalls of the Internet and what parents can do to protect their children and what children can do to protect themselves.

Their welcome new book Racing to Keep Up codifies the strategies showing parents how "to talk with their kids about technology and ways to keep the home computer safe." It's a lean, practical book, short on preaching and long on meting out usable, proven strategies for short-circuiting the dangers attendant in online communication, social network sites, the online gaming world, and the efforts of online marketers to bypass NP's (nosy parents) so they can talk directly to your kids.

"It's a different universe than it was even five years ago," says Fodeman, the Director of Technology at the Brookwood School in Manchester, Massachusetts. "The immediacy in which kids are exposed to fraudulent advertising, scams, and sexual invitations, is transforming your child's life. Anyone not born with an iPhone in their hands has no idea what it's like out there."

"Adolescents need guidance," adds Monroe, who has also developed curricula on sex education, substance abuse, ethics, and decision making. Unfortunately, in the face of fast-evolving communication technology, so do parents. "We wrote this book to help adults understand the technology kids are using and to give them proven strategies for guiding their kids once they do understand." Don't worry about having to wade through technical information. There is none. Racing to Keep Up is purely about giving parents options. The strategies work--even if you don't know a megabyte from a mosquito bite.

With Websites such as Webkinz, Club Penguin, Runescape and Barbie Online now targeting kids as young as seven years old, Racing to Keep Up couldn't have come out a moment too soon. "There's a whole generation of kids growing up who don't even remember anything pre-Internet," adds Fodeman. "It's up to the grownups to help set the rules."

For more information, visit

About the Authors

Marje Monroe, MSW, is a clinical social worker and educator with more than twenty years of counseling, programming, and teaching at private schools across the nation.

Doug Fodeman is a technology expert who lectures on online privacy and protection against Internet Scams. He has appeared on the "ABC Nightly News" and "CBS Evening news."

Contact: Victor Gulotta, Gulotta Communications, Inc.


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