If you are thinking about, or already have pictures of yourself on the Internet, I encourage you to stop and read the following information. Placing pictures of yourself online is a lot more dangerous than you think. More and more people are using computers now than ever before. Their ages range from 2-100+ and they come from every walk of life. One of the most dangerous of them is the PEDOPHILE. Pedophiles are men and women that prey on the innocence of children and youth.
This guide realizes that child molesters are primarily family or friends of the child as opposed to strangers, BUT what you have to realize is that the Internet is fast becoming a haven for pedophiles who find it very easy to locate your pictures and download them to their own systems. These people are using your pictures for their fantasies. They even place your picture on their web pages and offer them to other pedophiles to use. Some even use your pictures to represent real or fabricated stories about their sexual encounters.
These people use search engines such as Yahoo, Excite, About.com, etc, to locate sites about children. They will even search through family sites and communities on such hosts as Geocities, Tripod, Xoom, Angelfire etc. They are looking for pictures and information about you and they find them. The majority of children, youth and parents online would be horrified to see a picture of themselves on a pedophiles site being used in horrific ways.
You have the power to protect yourself online. It is up to you to make decisions that are in your best interest. Don't let yourself become a play thing and sexual fantasy for pedophiles. There are lots of people online that would love to place pictures of themselves on the Internet. The internet seems like a wonderful place to do that because it unites people from around the world to a single place to see these pictures. Today, among those visiting your page might be pedophiles.
This guide realizes that you are proud people and want to talk about yourself online. I also know that you want to protect yourself as best as you can. That is why I have developed this page; to educate and give you alternatives and guidelines to placing your picture online. Please read thoroughly and thoughtfully, the following information...Alternatives
Draw a picture of yourself, scan it, and use the picture as a representation of yourself. If you do not have a scanner, ask your ISP if they provide this service or call your local computer dealer.
Find a cartoon image on the Internet that you like and use that as a representation of yourself. You can find links to hundreds of sites that offer graphics at the following site: Web Clip Art On The Net.
Take a picture of yourself and in a graphics program remove your face or head. Replace this with cartoon images or hand draw images. If you do not have a graphics program, please go to Tucows and download Paint Shop Pro or some other graphics program to use.
Take your picture and manipulate it in a graphics program. Make yourself into an animal with whiskers, ears, fun noses and more. Be creative. Make sure you manipulate the face to ensure that pedophiles will not want to download the picture. The program "Paint", which is located on your computer under "Accessories" is perfect and easy to use for this.
Create an original design of your nickname with little icons around it representing your interests or special qualities. Let this be a representation of yourself.
This guide cannot make your decisions for you. I can only educate you and try my best to make the Internet safe for children. If you insist on placing your pictures online, then PLEASE follow these guidelines and realize that they will not protect you entirely.
Get your parent's permission to place your picture on the Internet. When asking permission, be sure to tell them the facts! Let them make an educated decision.
Make a separate page to place your picture. Do not link this page to your main page or any sub pages you may have. You are still taking a chance.
Do not give out any information on the page that will make it easy for a pedophile to locate you. Pick out a nickname. Do not give out the following information; city, address, phone number, school name, clubs you belong too or your daily routine.
Do not place the URL of this page on any search engine.
When naming the graphic image of yourself, do not use your name or anything with "pic" or "personal" in it. Use numbers or a mix of letters.
Only give out the URL to friends and family. Please be aware that you never truly know who is on the other end of the computer line. Unless you have done a police check on them (complete with finger prints) you have no idea who this person is and if they have a criminal past. You could be giving a pedophile your picture.
Never place the URL of the page which houses your picture on any bulletin board system, newsgroup or email list. Anyone can be reading the boards or receiving the email. Pedophiles regularly surf family and club bulletin boards and newsgroups for just such postings.
Entering yourself in a "cute kid contest" is not a good idea because these pages are always visited by pedophiles and it is so easy to copy the pictures to re-use. There are many other contests on the Net that are safer for kids.
It takes about 15 minutes to totally redo an innocent picture of your smiling face into one of a youth engaged in a lascivious act with someone else. These redone pictures are often put onto XXX sites, cd's, private collections and sold to others. Please take this as a serious warning to refrain from putting your picture anywhere that it can be accessed by a pedophile.
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The Youth Online Club ©Shauna Lee De Feyter, 1997-2008 http://www.youthonline.ca/
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