How to find a safe space on the internet

Children can avoid danger on sites shared with millions of people – if they are protected.The rise of social networking sites such as MySpace among office workers looks set to become responsible for more lost working hours than the flu. For schools, the sites pose more serious problems. Stories of paedophiles grooming children terrify parents and teachers, and anyone logging on to the sites can easily find examples of bullying. Despite the dangers, they are dizzyingly popular. MySpace alone lays claim to 180 million members worldwide, most of them young people. Popular, yes, but not always pleasant. This month an NSPCC poll on one site, Habbo, found that half of the 11 to 16 year olds polled have had an “unwanted experience” online.

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