Cold Spring, NY 10516
March 31st, 2014
Congressman Sean Maloney
123 Grand Street
Newburgh, NY 12550
Dear Congressman Maloney,
Hello. I am writing to you to stress the urgency of protecting the children and teens of America from internet predators. I have recently read a book called Want to go Private by Sarah Darer Littman and it has inspired me to bring this to your attention. It is a major problem that is occurring everyday and something needs to be done about it. Children and parents are uneducated about the dangers of it all, and it is time for change.
Most parents have never discussed the importance of internet safety with there children, which is a a huge problem. Children and teens need to be more aware of what and who they can run into while searching the web or chatting online. They do not know any better, and it is the parents and school’s job to make sure that they are well-informed.
93% of teenagers use the internet, and out of that percentage, 63% of teens go on every single day. Most of these teens explore chat rooms and other social networking sites. They give out there personal information, and expose themselves to predators. Most predators prey on teen girls who are depressed or have recently experienced a life changing event. Boys that are gay or confused about there sexuality are at an increased risk when it comes to predators. Some predators use a process called “grooming” where they use their words to gain the trust and love from the teen, and then they trick them into running off and doing sexual acts with them. Situations like internet predators can cause kids and teens to go missing, and sometimes even be found dead. For the kids who return home safely, they usually have many emotional problems afterwards. That was the situation that occurred in the book that I read.
Online sexual solicitation is a type of sexual harassment on the internet. 30% of teen girls have experienced this type of harassment. It comes in many forms, such as exposure to pornography, being asked to do something sexual, or even being asked to give out personal information. Most teens do not tell there parents about this harassment because they are afraid to do so. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was created to help keep children safe while they are online by mandating parental consent when children set up accounts on any website. The issue with this law is that it is not really affective. Kids and teens have their sneaky ways to getting around stuff like that, such as creating fake email accounts and pretending to be there own parents. I think that there should be a more strict law.
Cyberbullying is a huge part of…