Recently Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell paid us a visit here at AOL and we got a chance to chat with him about online safety. You don't have to be on the topic long before you realize how important General McDonnell considers educating families about online safety. He did not hesitate when we asked if he would blog on the subject for our SafetyClicks parents.
Working Together Fosters A Safer Online Environment
Click here to learn more about Bob McDonnell.
Reach out to your local elected official to see if your state provides Internet safety training in the classroom. By listening to parents, government can institute sound and effective policies to foster a safer online environment. Our goal is to stop child endangerment on every front. With regard to the Internet, we have learned that a little knowledge can go a long way.
In just a few short years, the Internet has brought about remarkable advances and fundamentally changed how information is disseminated. Today, we have unprecedented access to valuable data and the ability to communicate with people around the globe instantly.
With the click of a mouse, our children can access the complete works of Shakespeare, the latest scientific journals and ancient religious texts. They have an entrée into far off communities and, at the same time, better insight into their own state and local government. The potential is wonderful.
As society's virtues have found a home on the Internet, so too have some very disturbing evils. The inherent openness and anonymity of the Internet have provided a hiding place for child predators, con artists and identity thieves.
I firmly believe that understanding the dangers which exist is a very effective way to combat them. As we provide our children with access to this free and open medium we must equip them with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate it safely. Here is where I believe Government can help.
In Virginia, I proposed the first law in the country adding Internet safety coursework to the school curriculum. Providing online safety training in the class room gives students a clear and unencumbered view into the real threats which exist online. We all recognize that no one wants to be the victim of a crime. These courses help our children protect themselves from potential dangers by providing them with the information and tools necessary to make smart choices. In Virginia, the program has met with great success and our work has served as a model for legislation in other states.
Clearly there is no one solution to the challenges of Internet predation. However; Internet safety education coupled with increased parental involvement can make a significant difference.