According to a story on CNN’s website, 19-year-old Jenifer Mee of Florida (also known as the Hiccup Girl due to a severe bout with hiccups she had experienced) and two others were arrested by police on murder charges on Sunday, October 24.
Mee had allegedly convinced the murder victim to meet her at an empty house where two men–also charged with murder–robbed the victim. The victim didn’t have much money on him, apparently–because his attackers only got away with between $50 and $60, according to police.
Griffen had “friended” Mee on a social networking site the week prior to the killing, police said. Police believe that the pair were unacquainted prior to their online contact.
This is the kind of thing we, as parents–and as users of social networking sites, ourselves–worry about the most. It’s not the networking site’s fault; rather, it’s our own misplaced complacency that people sometimes experience–adults and kids, alike: that bad stuff won’t happen to us. We know it “could” happen–it just never feels as though we’re the ones it will happen to.
Most people know to be extremely cautious when making contact with new people online. We should take it one step farther and have “the talk” with our kids about using the Internet. Just like “talk” about sex, discussing Internet safety with our children should come before we think they actually need it. Work it into conversation with kids when the subject of emailing or social network sites comes up. It’s not necessary to scare kids half to death–but we need to educate them.
5 Tips to Help Kids Stay Safe Online:
- Kids should tell an adult immediately if they see something on a website, in an email, or anything else that seems wrong or makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Kids should never give our personal information such as their name, address, phone number, email, school name, or photographs.
- Kids should never meet someone face-to-face if they only know them from the Internet.
- Kids should never open an email from anyone they don’t know.
- Kids should never try to purchase or pay for anything online without an adult’s permission (and assistance).
- Kids should always ask their parents before downloading music or movies.