It’s not simple because strangers online are hard to identify, since the Net is the land of make-believe. “Pictures don’t hurt kids,” said Parry Aftab, author of “A Parent’s Guide to the Internet.” Aftab also runs Wired As long as parents think the only real risk is the kids will see adult sex content, they won’t do anything.” The real threat to children is people who lurk in chat rooms and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels who hope to lure your child into having online sex or a face-to-face meeting.And just as kids are often better than their parents at playing make believe, they’re often better at keeping up with technology, too. It’s impossible to say how many pedophiles there are lurking on the Net, but if you doubt the severity of the problem, log on to almost any IRC channel. customs agent Marcus Lawson once pretended to be young boys or girls for a living. I’ll tell him no.”) “I don’t think the Internet has created more pedophiles.Don’t look at pornographic pictures, and you won’t have to worry about them.But most important — don’t talk to strangers, and never give them personal information. If it were simple, you wouldn’t hear repeated stories of FBI raids collaring dozens of pedophiles who swap files — and hunt for children — online.Many safety guides for children using the Net read as if they were written by Robert Fulghum.Everything I ever needed to know to stay safe in the virtual world, I learned in the real world. If someone is making you uncomfortable, just leave, and tell your parents.
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