Are you in danger while using today’s technology? Are your kids, family or students you work with in danger?
“www.R U in Danger.net” takes a real life approach to these issues and addresses them in a way that everyone can learn from. Whether you are a student involved in these situations, a teacher trying to educate your students, a law enforcement officer who is dealing with cyber crime or a parent just trying to do your best to protect your children, “www.R U in Danger.net” is a must read book for you.
Each chapter, through fictional stories based on real life scenarios, will heighten your awareness. The chapters will have an Internet Safety Savviness Challenge in which you will be challenged to figure out what went wrong or what you need to know.
Finally, there is advice on what did go wrong, how to deal with it and steps that could be taken to prevent it from happening again.
Chapter 1 – Andrew’s Accidental Search
I clicked on the swinging paddle and gasped when a picture I hadn’t expected zoomed into focus. My heart hammered against my ribs. There was a picture of a naked woman bending over like she was waiting to be paddled.
How did a picture like that get on a site for kids? I clicked on the home page icon and chose another old schoolhouse. I followed the same directions for that schoolhouse until it came to the discipline given. Each time when I clicked on discipline, another inappropriate picture filled the screen.
Chapter 2 – Becca’s Birthday
“Write about video chat games.”
Simultaneously, Maddie and I said, “What are those?”
“I don’t really know, but I saw a story on TV this morning about a video chat game on-line. It’s called Stop On Me. It hooks you up with random people.”
Corrina had my attention, and by the way Maddie suddenly sat up, she obviously had hers, too. “I don’t get it,” Maddie said.
“I don’t know how it works, either, except you use a webcam and microphone and you can see and talk to people who are signed onto it at the same time.”I tried to picture talking to strangers on the computer. What would we talk about? “It sounds kind of weird to me.”
“The reporter on the show was hooked up to it, and the network kept blocking out pictures on the screen while she was reporting. She was saying things like, ‘Oh my’ and ‘Censor that’, and stuff like that,” Corrina said. “She made it sound like it was kind of a risky thing.”
“That’s dumb. How could it be risky if you don’t even know the people?” Maddie asked. Corrina shrugged. “I dunno. Some of the images that came up of people on there looked like kids our age.”
“Is it free?” I asked.
“I think so,” Corrina answered. “The reporter logged on in front of the camera during the show. I didn’t see her put in payment information.”
Maddie launched off the bed. “If it’s free then it can’t be bad. We should try it.” She was right behind me in a second.
She leaned over me and started typing. “Duh! Stop On Me. Let’s see what it is.” She clicked “go”.
Chapter 3 – Troy’s Trouble
What do you want?” I snapped. I couldn’t see any reason for my older brother, Ben, to be in the same room with my friends and me. He hadn’t even turned on the television.
He stretched and put his hands behind his head. “I came to offer a suggestion, but if you’re not interested, that’s fine.”
I looked at Dan and Marc. Ben wanted to help us? “We don’t need your help. We’re picking out the songs I’m going to buy with my gift card.”
He gave me a look like I was the biggest moron walking the earth. “Dude, I know. That’s why I’m offering to help.”
“You going to buy some songs for me?”
He snorted and shook his head. “That’s a major waste of precious monetary resources.”
Dan rolled his eyes, but Marc nodded like he agreed with Ben.I pressed back into the overstuffed chair and tried to look as casual as Ben. “Okay, I’ll bite.”
“There’s a site where you can download whatever you want, and it won’t cost you a penny.”
I looked at him skeptically. “Free? Mom and Dad made you take the downloading software off the computer last year. Remember?”
“This is different. This is a totally safe and untraceable site.”
Marc suddenly sat up. “Cool! What is it?”
I whipped around toward him. “There’s got to be some catch, Marc.”
“Dude!” Ben said, sitting up. “You’re acting like a little kid. I’m telling you, no one even knows about it so the Internet police aren’t going to be looking for it.” I hated his mocking tone, but I didn’t want to get in trouble.
Dan laughed. “The Internet police? Troy, you think there are Internet police?”
“Of course not.” I was annoyed because Ben was making me look like an idiot in front of my friends. “So, what’s the site?”
Chapter 4 – Patti’s Pandemonium
Derek handed me his phone. I called up a new text message then glanced down at my phone’s screen and punched Jocelyn’s number into Derek’s phone and left a message.
meet me in dugout 2moro b4 school
I smiled and started to hand the phone back to him when it beeped with a return message. I quickly pulled it back.
“Oh, probably my parents.” I clicked on the message and saw the simple single letter response from Jocelyn.
I deleted it then handed the phone back to Derek. “Yup, just my parents. Thanks.”
I couldn’t believe how easy this plan was turning out to be. Derek had no idea he’d just helped me set up Jocelyn.
The next morning Beth, Maria, Sara and I met at the dugouts early. I took the mixture of chocolate frosting, shaving cream, and eggs that Maria had put in a plastic container and transferred it to a doggy poop bag. Perfect! I pulled on a couple of the plastic gloves my mother used for cleaning then we waited.
I peered through the opening between the two dugouts and saw Jocelyn coming across the baseball field. She looked really happy like this was going to be the best morning of her life. Boy, was she in for a surprise!
As my dad says, I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. For example, one lesson I learned the hard way was to always wear a helmet when skateboarding. I learned it the hard way, because I found out concrete sidewalks aren’t forgiving if your flip kick doesn’t work out and you miss the board. When you lose your balance, fall and the back of your head smacks the cement, it’s pretty hard. A concussion and eighteen stitches later, I learned to wear my helmet, especially if I was going to try tricks. I still have a two inch scar where the hair never grows in right. That was a lesson I learned the hard way – literally.
There have been lots of others, too, but none of them were as bad as the latest one. Like the scar on the back of my head, my stupid mistake on the Internet was something I learned from the hard way. The scar I have from the Internet incident isn’t something anyone can see, but I know it’s there every time I think about posting a picture.
I was totally psyched that Jarod sounded interested in me. I couldn’t wait to tell Alyssa. I was going to close out of the chat room when I heard the tone telling me I’d received an instant message. I checked out the message but didn’t recognize the screen name. It made me a little nervous, but I opened the message anyway.
Speeddemon: hey saw your message u were at game Sat?
cheercrzygrl: yup, who this
Speeddemon: Steve – you?
cheercrzygrl: Lindsay. Do I knw u?
Speeddemon: I dont think so, by your screen name I see u cheer, were u cheering at game?
cheercrzygrl: yup. Who r u?
Speeddemon: I told u, steve which team were u cheering for?
Speeddemon: very cool I must have seen u then, I was there watching
(continued on next chapter synopsis)
(continued from previous chapter synopsis)
cheercrzygrl: u go to my school?
Speeddemon: no but my niece goes to the other school, the one u guys were playing
cheercrzygrl: niece how old r u?
Speeddemon: 25 u?
I couldn’t believe a 25 year old guy wanted to talk to me. Me? Usually the guys talk more to my friends than me, but not this time. Steve was talking only to me, not even in the room. This was private between just us. In some ways, it weirded me out, but it was exciting, too.
Mrs. Rickert, my English teacher, stepped beside me. “Could I see you in the hallway, Mr. Taylor?”
Uh-oh! Calling me Mr. Taylor was not a sign of good things to come. Until we stepped into the hall, I hadn’t seen Mrs. Rickert’s face. Once she turned around I was shocked at how red it was and how dark her eyes could look. Wow! I’d never seen her so angry, at least, not at me.
“Would you like to explain yourself?”
Could I answer, ‘No, I wouldn’t like to. Thanks, anyway,’ and get away with it? I doubted it.
“I was goofing around,” I said. My voice sounded a little squeaky, which was embarrassing. “We were all done with the project.”
Mrs. Rickert crossed her arms over her chest. “And what will your grandparents say when I tell them how you chose to use your group’s time?”
I gulped. “You’re calling my grandparents?”
“Yes, it’s my policy when I give a detention.”
My heart sank. Just last night I had convinced Grandma and Grandpa that I was old enough for a cell phone. My grades were good and I was doing all of my chores without being asked. They said they would discuss it and give it serious consideration. I thought I’d presented a good case, but if Mrs. Rickert called home that cell phone idea was history.
“I’m sorry,” I managed to croak.
“I’m sure you are, Mr. Taylor. Your detention slip will be in the office at the end of the day.”
Mrs. Rickert pivoted and opened the door, holding it for me so I could go in first. Of course all eyes were on me when we came back in. I crossed the room and returned to my group. Tim, Ella and Nikki had already rearranged all the shapes into appropriate nouns. All we had to do was attach them to the poster, but I didn’t care. At this point, getting an “F” on the project wouldn’t have been any worse.
After school my best friend, Seth, already had a seat on the bus when I flung my backpack under the seat and plopped down on the vinyl next to him.
He punched me in the shoulder. “Dude, I heard what happened with Rickert fifth period. Detention, huh?”
“Yeah. I’m dead.” I slid down and mashed my knees against the back of the seat in front of us. “So much for the cell phone.”
“Aw, sorry, man.” He pushed himself into the corner by the window. Seth slid down next to me. “Whatcha gonna do?”
“What do you mean what am I going to do? I’ll probably be grounded for a month and who knows when I’ll get that cell phone. Probably never!” Suddenly I realized my hands hurt because my knuckles were clenched so tight in my lap.
“That’s not what I mean.” Seth glanced at the people around us then lowered his voice. “You’ve gotta get back at her, man. You can’t let her get away with this.”
“Huh? Who?” I wondered if I looked as confused as I felt.
“Rickert,” Seth clarified.
“What am I supposed to do?”
He glanced around then leaned in a little closer. “Scare her.”
I went to my school’s website and clicked on Mrs. Rickert’s school e-mail.
Sherry’s eyes opened wide. “You’re friends with her?”
“Only on-line. There are a bunch of Drama Club people on-line, so we’ve friended each other.” I dipped the brush in the bottle one more time. “I’d never be friends with her otherwise. She’s so weird.”
“Can I see the video? I don’t even know what she looks like.”
“Yeah, sign in to my account and go to her page. It’ll be under her videos on her page.”
Sherry swiveled on the chair and reached for the mouse. While I finished painting my nails on my left hand, her fingers tapped away on my keyboard.
She stood. “Okay, do you want to come over and put in your password?”
I held my hands with the wet fingernail polish up toward her. “Does it look like I can type in a password? I’m not messing up the polish over Tracy Weston. I’ll just tell you what it is.”
Sherry sat back down. “Are you sure you want to give me your password?”
“You’re my best friend. Why not?”
The next morning started out like every school day. I showered, dressed, ate breakfast and checked my e-mail and FriendPost page before leaving for school. My inbox was full of e-mails, so many that I probably wouldn’t be able to read all of them before school, but I decided to read a few. I figured my friends were just excited for me and wanted to congratulate me.
The first couple of e-mails were exactly what I thought, but then I opened one from a girl who was a friend through Drama Club, and I was confused.
Randy Newcomb: Wow! That was low. I was excited 4 u until I read ur comments about Tracy.
Nicole Davidson: i was excited that u got the lead role until i saw what u wrote on tracys wall
I had no idea what their e-mails were talking about. Even though I had briefly considered it, I hadn’t written anything on Tracy’s wall. I typed in her name and went to her profile. I was shocked to see several messages about me, but they weren’t good messages. They were comments about how nobody loves me more than I do and everyone should just ignore me.
My mouth went so dry I could barely swallow. The words were wavy in front of me, but I was so shocked that I swiped at my tears and kept reading. It seemed like half the kids at the high school thought I was a heartless creep, and I didn’t even know why until I suddenly came across a posting with my name on it.
Christine Zoftlin: If u want to know why Tracy didn’t get the role of Hodel go check out her video. Pigs being slaughtered sound better.
I stared in disbelief. Now I understood why I’d received those e-mails from my friends and why Tracy’s friends were posting such horrible comments about me. There was my picture and my name next to those nasty comments, but I hadn’t written them. I wasn’t even on-line when they were posted. I shook my head, bewildered, until it hit me.
I hadn’t been on-line, but I knew who had.
I wasn’t comfortable doing a real nude picture, but I thought if I did something that would make it look like I didn’t have anything on, that would be cool. All of a sudden I had a great idea, and it actually made me laugh out loud. I took my yellow bikini out of my dresser and put that on. I’d tell Todd that was one of our suit choices. I didn’t want him to see the bikini, so I had to set it up to look like I wasn’t wearing it.
On my bed I had one of those pillows that you could sit up against and it was like the back of a chair. I grabbed that and set it on the floor a few feet away from the full length mirror. My stomach fluttered, but I wasn’t sure if it was from apprehension or excitement. There was a little thrill in knowing Todd was waiting.
Next, I put on dangly earrings that Todd once told me made me look sexy. Then with a touch of make-up, I was ready to send him the picture he wanted. Well, at least the only one I was comfortable sending.
I sat down on the floor behind the pillow and pulled my bikini strap down so it couldn’t be seen in the reflection. I angled myself so I could drape my bare arm and leg over the back and sides of the pillow. The end result was just what I was looking for. From this angle, I could take the picture in the mirror and it looked like I was naked. I perfected my pose then snapped the picture on my phone. Todd would love it.
Before I sent it, I looked at it. I was surprised at how well I had done. The picture looked like it could go on one of those skanky calendars some of the guys liked.
There were a lot more congratulatory comments on my FriendPost page. If I were walking on clouds I couldn’t have been any higher. I was invincible. I clicked off that site and moved over to my MesssageMe profile. Dustin and I had already planned a poker party for Saturday night at my house, but I saw that he’d turned it into a different kind of party thanks to my news. I had to laugh. Dustin had been bugging me that we should invite more people since we had the whole house to ourselves, but I’d held off. I could only afford so much food and drink. But, he had already taken matters into his own hands and posted an invitation on MessageMe.
Dustin: Party at Mike’s Saturday night. ‘rents gone for weekend. Gotta celebrate scholarship. Who’s in?
Lisa: me what time?
Bob: be there
Rochelle: count me in
Chris: on it
Those were only the first comments. The responses seemed endless. I stopped counting after twenty. It felt good to know that many people wanted to come to a party I was having. Maybe I’d beat Craig Messier’s guest list that topped fifty a few weeks ago.
After everyone left and I had the house cleaned up from the party, I looked at the “newsfeed” on my FriendPost page and there were already pictures from the party up because people had posted from their cell phones during the party. I had been linked in two pictures, the one with Artemis and one with a couple of guys from the baseball team. The blue cup I held seemed to jump off the page. What a party!
I had planned to sleep in late Sunday, but a little after 8 a.m. my cell phone rang.
“Mike!” It was Dustin and he sounded panicked. “Dude, you gotta turn on Channel 7 News quick.”
“What?” I rubbed the heel of my hand into my eyes to encourage them to open.
“There was an accident. Turn on the news.”
Will’s assignment for the rest of the meeting was to take candid shots of the staff while I worked with Aaron and Fiona. Much later, when Will was leaving, I made a point to say goodbye.
“Hey, Will.” He turned in the doorway to face me. “Can you make sure you come to the before school meeting tomorrow to work on the new candids?”
He glanced around like he was sure I had to be talking to someone other than him. “Uh, sure.”
“Great! See you then.”
He lifted his hand in a half wave then spun toward the door as if he had to hurry out. Even his posture seemed straighter like he was pumped. It made me smile, too. I liked being in charge.
It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I regretted my brilliant idea about the candids. I received a text message from Paul.
thought you wanted to take a break from dating
didnt know you were into farmers
check out Barnyard’s profile pic on FriendPost.
My first instinct was to tell Paul how juvenile he sounded when he called Will Barnard that name, but I was curious about why he wanted me to check out the picture. I signed onto the site and searched for Will. As soon as his profile loaded I was surprised by what I saw and also knew what Paul’s issue was. Will had used the candid of the two of us with his arm around me and made it his profile picture.
Steve Jones: ROFL Sarah right, well mybe a barn animal would date him MOOOOOOO
Amber Smith: OINK OINK
Stephanie Adkins: LOSER!!!!!!!
Chris Porter: STOP!! Will is a good guy. Knock it off!!!!!!! Jerks
Phil Larson: WA WA WA Chris, get a life. Chris when Will gets sex change, that mean u guys wuld b gay? LOL
Crystal Blanchet: ROFL Phil does it matter, gay r straight no one would ever date this loser, does he have any friends, beside chris but chris is loser too so WHO CARES
Phil Larson: Crystal, u r soooooo smart, I knw they can live in a barn 2gether LOL
Claire Newman: LOL who cares where he goes, JUST GO!!!!!!!!!!
Rebecca Kingman: LOZER!!!! I still cant believe that he put that pic up on his site of Olivia and him. There is NO WAY Olivia wuld ever hang with him. Only way is ybook club. Olivia being nice take pic for ybook and this lozer takes it way 2 far. WILL GO AWAY no one wnts u around here
Marc Brady: WOW becca tell us how u relly feel LOL group should be GO AWAY WILL
Rebecca Kingman: Marc u r wrong if Will went away we would miss him NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sarah Wilks: LOL becca u crack me up. Will see what u have done, no one likes u
I scrolled down farther to see if the tone of the messages changed, but the more I read, the more my stomach twisted. I’d heard about groups like this before, but I’d never seen one. The fact that so many kids would participate shocked me. What was most disturbing was that there were very few comments from kids disagreeing with the activity and comments on the page. Even my friends were being mean.
I sat back in my chair, feeling helpless. I couldn’t see any way that Will could fight back against these comments.
“When I first had the idea of putting my book together, I knew I had the perfect partner to work with, Laurie Gifford Adams. Laurie and I have been friends for years. When I was teaching the D.A.R.E. program I would watch how Laurie would interact with her students and how she became involved with their lives, not just as a teacher but a person the children could trust and talk to.
Laurie taught middle school language arts for about 30 years and has a passion for every single thing she does. When I asked her to join me on this project, from the second she said yes, it was a pleasure and honor to work with her. The final product “www.R U In Danger.net” is something we both are very proud of. Our goal was to put together a book from which parents could learn with their children and children could learn from their parents. The book can also be used by teachers working with students and law enforcement officers working with their communities.
“www.R U In Danger.net” is not a technical how-to book but real-life scenarios seen through the eyes of a child. Everyone who reads this book can learn something new about technology and how to stay safe while using it.” ~Scott