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Why Parents Should Monitor Their Children Online
However, this problem will not simply be solved by the passing of policy. Parents need to play a bigger role in the over site of their children. After all, technology is moving faster than any government agency would ever hope to and there are no signs of this changing. If parents monitor their children while using the internet, it can help to prevent a child from wondering too far from the good resources on the internet.
The adolescents of today are the first generation to be raised in a world where computers are a common entity in classrooms and homes. This is a big change to generations prior where technology did not overlap into all areas of our lives. In addition to the tremendous benefits that technology offers, including access to information and educational resources, the increased immersion of students into a digital age has also contributed to the evolution of new participants in and witnesses to the emergence of social problems in the cyber world (Berson, Berson, & Ferron, 2002).
The internet is accessible and popular among youth, no one questions this. What is alarming is that evidence is suggesting that people often make online choices that are contrary to their offline behaviors. This phenomenon has broadened the opportunity to engage in violent and abusive behaviors and has dramatically increased the access of potential offenders to a more expansive pool of victims (Federal Bureau of Investigation; http://www.fbi.gov). For this reason parents are the major factor in how their children behave online. Parents must be aware of the actions their children take online including knowing who their children are talking to and the locations they visit.
This does not however mean that government doesn't need to take a stand on the cyber violence. Government officials can help eliminate child predators by limiting predator's access to the internet much in the way they are limited to living in areas where there are no schools. If Government really doesn't sit down and take a serious look at these issues the problems will simply continue to grow. An area of law enforcement that is showing positive results is the training of agents that monitor internet chat rooms. These agents pretend to be young boys or girls that would make for an easy victim and arrange sting operations to catch predators.
The internet needs to be monitored by law enforcement personnel in order to keep children safe. People that stalk children on the internet need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If these predators are not found and charged with the crime the situation will never improve (Benson, 1996). One way this jurisdictional problem could be solved in the United States would be to prosecute under the federal law that prohibits obscenity or harassment using interstate telecommunications devices. One of the problems with this statute is that it does nothing to help the victim being harassed by an international stalker, especially if that person cannot be identified (Benson, 1996).
This is still why parents play the most important role of their children in cyber space. There is simply no law that can be passed that prevents, laws only help to prosecute crimes that have already occurred. So if you're a parent, get involved with what your children are doing online. In order to prevent them from being violated it is a must to stay involved in their computer interactions with friends and strangers. After all there is no real way that to know who you are talking to on the internet by simply believing what the other person says to you.