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New study shows social-networking sites safer than we think

Parents naturally worry about our children's safety on the internet, but a new study may help us sleep better at night. Results suggest the internet is not such a dangerous place after all and that social-networking sites like Myspace and Facebook are safer for our kids to surf than some of us may think. The report said the real problem children face online, is bullying and harassment. That being said, it should be pointed out that the report was compiled by a team of executives from those same social sites, plus AOL, and Yahoo. They looked at sexual solicitation online and came to the surprising conclusion; it's not a significant problem. However, Pender County detective Scott Lawson finds this new study hard to believe. "I know that the dangers on the internet for young children are real. I have posed as a young child on the internet during an investigation and was blown away by the sheer number of grown men who would approach me and solicit me for illegal sex acts. This week, I started an investigation where a family was torn apart because their child was involved with someone on a social-networking site and things got out of hand. To that family, the internet is a dangerous place." Lawson also said children often feel a false sense of security when they're locked in their own room, chatting online as they may not realize the intentions of the person on the other side of the conversation. And the intentions are not always good. Bottom line: while social sites obviously want you to believe they're safe, trust your own instincts and be aware of where your child goes on the internet at all times.

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