The internet, with all of its wonderful tools and opportunities for learning and connecting,
can also be a very frightening place. As a parent with pre-teen and teenaged children, I
have become especially vigilant as they delve more and more into the world wide web.
My son, in particular, is very computer savvy. He can cruise easily from social media
sites to gaming boards with amazing ease. A few months ago, we had a situation develop
that made us aware of how easily bad things can happen on seemingly innocent websites.
My son was involved in a particular type of competitive toy that was particularly popular
at the time. He had signed up for some communities that allowed players to chat about
their games. I was fully aware of his participation, and I was monitoring his activity.
However, another person hijacked his online identity and made enemies in the
community, pretending to be my son. It shook him up and reminded us all of our
There are times like this when removing personal information from the internet is
desirable. Although this was a mild case of identity theft, it brought home how easily a
person could pretend to be another, and we have become more proactive in taking steps
to ensure our safety.