Monday, February 1, 2010
According to the AP and reported by the Sacramento Local News, a MySpace message lands a Sacramento man in jail. Police says he tried to have sex with a teenager, but the girl's father found out and then stepped in. Police arrested George Hanna, 28, after he tried to meet up with a 13-year-old for sex, after soliciting her on Myspace.
It all began when the girl’s father decided to check her MySpace profile. At that time, Hanna began to send sex messages, not knowing it was the girl’s father. According to the article,
"I messaged the guy back and said I was 13, he actually said that was
cool. He told me some sexual stuff that he wanted to do," says the teen's
father. "He kept insisting that we meet."
So, the father met Hanna 30 minutes later in a parking lot off Arden
Way around 1 am, and brought his camera with him to take pictures of him. "He
looked at me and I started pulling out my camera to take pictures of him, and he
asked if I knew him, and I said 'no, but you know my 13-year-old daughter who
you want to sleep with.' That's when he started to run away," he told CBS13.
That's when he called the police who arrested Hanna later that morning
at his residence. But, investigators warn against parents taking this approach
to stopping suspected sexual predators.
"Certainly, you don't know what this other individual is capable of
doing and you don't want to confront somebody on your own," say authorities.
This father says he probably won't do it again, but hopes Hanna won't see
anything other than a prison cell for the next few years. I think anyone who is
going to come out and sleep with a 13-year-old shouldn't be on the street," he
This is an excellent example of why it’s important to monitor your loved ones online. This happened in January. Thankfully, the father wasn’t hurt. However, had McGruff Safeguard been put into place, the father could have immediately reported and been kept out of harm’s way. Download McGruff Safeguard today for up-to-date instant messages, emails, or conversations that have anything to do with drugs, sexual abuse, suicide, bullying, etc. We also help parents with acronyms that your kids are using. Help us help you keep your loved ones safe.
Labels: McGruff Safeguard, myspace, sacramento, sex soliciting
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 6:24 AM Link to this Article
Bullying Leads to 15-year-old Suicide
Monday, January 25, 2010
We have posted many articles about bullying via texts and social media platforms such as Facebook and Myspace. We have heard of a few teen suicide stories which these platforms have been a launch pad of emotional abuse. Here’s one more to add to it. One thing we need to keep in mind as parents is that our kids don’t think like we do. Some things we understand, which only come with growth and maturity, are far out of the scope of the “everyday reality” that our kids face on and offline.
Phoebe Prince is yet another example of why it’s so important to get in touch with that reality…their reality. According to the Boston Globe
, Prince had been a victim of both bullying and cyber bullying, which authorities believed may have prompted the 15 year-old to take her life.
Prince and her family moved to Western Massachusetts last year from a small village in west Ireland. Last fall, she enrolled at South Hadley High School which has a student body of approximately 700 students.
“In a school with that many kids, there are going to be issues,’’
Sergeant Robert Whelihan, a spokesman for the South Hadley Police Department
said yesterday. “We are investigating what effects the bullying might have had
on the suicide.’’
The bullying included disagreements over teen romances at school, school
officials said. And it continued with taunting text messages and harassing
postings on Facebook, the popular social networking site.
“The real problem now is the texting stuff and the cyber-bullying,’’ said
South Hadley School Superintendent Gus A. Sayer. “Some kids can be very mean
towards one another using that medium.’’
You may think to yourself, “Well, if my son/daughter were having issues with other kids, they would surely let me know.” Unfortunately, this is not always the case. They may feel embarrassed, disconnected, or ashamed of what is happening. There are lots of reasons kids don’t communicate as we do. They’re kids. If they knew any differently, they probably would.
That’s why it’s important to know what is happening behind the scenes. McGruff Safeguard
is about keeping those you care about safe. It’s about giving you the information necessary to facilitate conversation.
Could this suicide have avoided? I absolutely think so. There is a whole mess of stuff that happens that we don’t know about. If your kids are being cyber bullied…that’s one thing we can alert you on. Then, you have an inside look as to what your kids are going through. Download McGruff Safeguard
today. It can definitely make you aware, and it may help save a life.
Labels: bullying, cyberbulling, Facebook, McGruff Safeguard, myspace, Pheobe Prince, South Hadley High school, teenage suicide
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 8:32 AM Link to this Article
Sex offenders on facebook and myspace
Friday, January 15, 2010
Just recently, I posted a blog about the sex offenders that were found on Facebook
in New York. I wanted to go into a bit more depth with this subject today. Many of you, like me, want to know how these sex offenders were found, how they are BEING found, and what are the states we live in are doing about it.
According to Wired, a popular magazine devoted to new technology, as of December 1, 2009, 3,533 registered sex offenders were stripped of their social networking accounts. This happened as a result of the state’s 2008 Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) law.
According to the article, the law requires the state’s 30,000 convicted sex offenders to file their home, e-mail and social networking addresses with the state. Out of that pool, only about 27 percent revealed e-mail addresses or social-networking usernames to authorities, and only 10 percent divulged a Facebook or MySpace username.
The remaining 22,000 or so registered sex offenders who did not supply
online identity information are either in prison or homeless, lack computer
access or simply chose not to respond, an unidentified state Division of
Criminal Justice Services representative told the New
York Daily News.
The e-STOP system only works if criminals volunteer their social networking
identities, as they are required to do within 10 days of creating a new account
under penalty of new felony charges. Proponents of the law have declared it a
“Before e-STOP, sexual predators freely lurked in social networking
sites trolling for innocent victims,” said executive director of Parents for
Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center Laura Ahearn to the Daily News. “With
e-STOP, Attorney General Cuomo has sent a clear message that there is a new
sheriff in the cyberworld protecting our most vulnerable.”
Okay, so what else is going on NOW in order to stop predators from getting on the popular Facebook site? Facebook has an application (not created by Facebook, but it’s out there) called P.O.M. Offender Application. What does this app do? It locates sex offenders in your area (U.S.) and comes complete with a Google map mash up showing their residence, their crime and their photo. To check it out, click here
Illinois has also recently signed a bill into law by Governor Pat Quinn, banning registered sex offenders from using social networks, turning the act into a felony. The new law took effect January 1, 2010.
“Obviously, the Internet has been more and more a mechanism for predators to
reach out," said Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), a sponsor of the measure and a
governor candidate. "The idea was, if the predator is supposed to be a
registered sex offender, they should keep their Internet distance as well as
their physical distance.”
The popular social networking sites, as well as some states, are taking steps to protect our children, but they can only do this IF the registered sex offenders are actually doing what they are supposed to. To me, this means there are thousands slipping through the cracks. That is why it is so important to continue monitoring the online activity of our kids and teens. McGruff Safeguard
does this for you by monitoring conversations and alerting you if there is questionable conversation. By registering for McGruff Safeguard
, you are helping us help you keep your loved ones safe.
Labels: e-Stop Act, Facebook, facebook application, myspace, Pat Quinn, Wired
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 9:20 AM Link to this Article
Parental Reality Check
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I had the opportunity to interview an anonymous 16 year-old girl today for this blog. I really wanted to get to the heart of what teens are going through right now, see who or if they KNOW who they are talking to online, and share with you a new cyber law that New York just passed today. Let’s begin with my interviewee, *Kate. (not her real name)
Kate is from a city in Mississippi. She is a junior in a public high school. She is on Facebook, Myspace, and Tagged. Tagged.com is another global social site that I was not aware of until today. It is yet another version of the aforementioned social sites.
I asked Kate strait up if she was sexually active. She said she was not however she was the only one of her friends that was still a virgin. She said most of them became sexually active at 14 and 15 years-old. She said her religious views are what had kept her from crossing that line. Some of her friends also had the same belief system as she did, but that it didn’t stop them. She did say that she talks to boys often on the sites she is on, and it’s a way for her to meet new people around the area she is in.
I asked her if she had ever used these sites to sneak around, and if her parents monitored her use. She told me her mother asks her who she is talking to sometimes, but she just replies that she is talking to her friends. She sometimes lets her mother know if she is talking to a boy, but it depends on who it is. She also opened up and told me she doesn’t worry about her parents snooping around so much because she has these applications on her phone. She just gets on the sites there. She does still use her computer though. She just logs out of her accounts and email and keeps her passwords safe. (Please keep in mind that she had no idea what the interview was for with the exception of her knowing I was doing a piece on teens and social network/media sites.)
When I asked her if she regularly visited chat rooms…she had. She even had to go so far as to “de-friend” or “un-friend” (the act of taking someone off your “friend” list so they can no longer have access to your site.) someone because he was making sexual remarks and advances toward her. She said it “freaked” her out a bit. Kate has over 2000 Facebook friends, most of which she does not know, all of which can see ALL of her information.
Here’s is a serious realty though when it comes to having all of these FB friends which you do not know: Just today, in New York, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced
that more than 3,500 registered New York state sex offenders have been purged from social networking sites Facebook and MySpace in the first database sweep since the state’s new Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (“e-STOP”) went into effect. 3500 registered sex offenders!!!! And that is only ONE state!
It is IMPERITIVE to KNOW what the conversation is about. Most sexual predators know how to lure and say just the right things. They know where your kids and teens are. They play in the same space!
We are going to talk more about the new laws coming out in later posts and will always keep you up-to-date on the newest ones.
It’s not just about what your teens are up to and have going on in their life, it’s about protecting them from those who want to destroy their lives. With all of the peer pressure and sexualiztion of today's society, it's not easy for them. And it's a parental reality check for us on many different levels. Know where they are. Know what they go though. McGruff Safeguard
is free. Download it today. Help us help you keep your loved ones safe.
Labels: chat room, Cuomo, e-Stop Act, Facebook, interviewing, McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, myspace, Sex Offenders, Tagged
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 7:01 PM Link to this Article