Beyond ‘Love Bug’

There’s more than just the “love bug” creeping around these days. My daughters, age 8 and 10, both have their own e-mail addresses and occasionally use the family computer to chat with their friends and send little notes back and forth. Their pleas, however, for their own personal computers in their own rooms will continue to fall on deaf ears.

Here’s one reason why: The other night my ten-year-old asked if she could check her mail. I was horrified and sickened to see that her new mail was a colorful and provocative suggestion to view what was obviously a child pornography site”are you a sweet little girl? Come here, I’ll show you what sweet little girls really like to do,” etc., etc. Several “expletive-deletives” followed including an invitation to “click here for more fun.” Fortunately she didn’t have a chance to even see the screen as I screamed “get away from there!” As she and her little sister scampered away in fright. They were really terrified and I was livid. Yes, we do have parental control software installed and we notified AOL. We mistakenly thought our kids were “safe” with the controls in place. The control software would have prevented the kids from actually entering the pornographic site and viewing the photos, but it did not restrict the written message to come through loud and clear. No, we weren’t able to trace the origination of the letter but surmise that because my ten-year-old dubbed herself “DolphinGirl,” (name since changed), “girl” triggered a sicko lurking out there on the wild, wild web.

Lori Gray

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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