Navy warns of Web's hazards for employees' kids

Navy warns of Web's hazards for employees' kids

The Navy's Safekids program is using the Internet to help educate the service's employees about the risks that the Web poses to their children.

Most parents would not leave their children in a strange neighborhood by themselves or knowingly allow them to mingle with adult strangers. But leaving a child alone at a computer often equates to the same thing, said an agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

In an informal survey taken last year, NCIS workers found that many employees' children, aged six to 15, had been solicited or contacted online in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, according to Special Agent Jeanmarie Sentell, program manager for the Safekids initiative. Some of the polled children also admitted visiting sites that are inappropriate for children. The program's Web site is at www.ncis.navy.mil/Safekids/home.htm.

'I think that when parents sit down with their children and ask, 'Have you seen or experienced this on the Internet?' they are going to find some shocking answers,' Sentell said.

Without parental involvement, Sentell said, children may be 'opening the doorway for any predator that may be sitting out there.'

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