Diocese Invites Parents to Program on Technology Safety

The Times
August 23, 2008

program on technology safety TRENTON — Keeping children and families safe in a technologically advanced age will be the focus when the Diocese of Trenton opens a new season of its Child Protection Lecture Series Sept. 12 in the diocese's Pastoral Center, Lawrenceville, from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

Part of its ongoing initiative to create safe environments for children and youth, the free seminar, "Technology Safety and Security," is open to any parent or concerned adult. Developed by VIRTUS, the organization that created Protecting God's Children, TSS provides information, resources and training to help build adult awareness about ways to protect young people in the world of electronic communications.

As communication technologies become more efficient and accessible by the day, it is no longer just the chat rooms and social networking sites that can present risks to users. Text messages, cell phone-generated photos and videos and the ease in which these items can be posted and shared on the internet have given sexual predators and child pornographers even more tools to use in their illegal activities.

These technologies have also increased exposure that children have to cyber bullying and harassment, and have deepened the risk of identity theft and basic security for persons of all ages. The VIRTUS program, presented as a DVD, will discuss today's technology exposures; identify the warning signs of potential technology-related abuse or misuse; offer pro-active strategies to ensure the protection of young people, and suggest appropriate ways to respond to suspected technology-related threats.

The evening will also include a presentation by an area mother whose 13-year-old child was victimized by a child pornographer. She has shared her story with various organizations in the hope that she can help parents keep their children safe.

Presenting an overview of some of the resources available to help parents monitor their children's online activities, representatives of Pitt Bull Secure Technologies will close out the evening. The Pennsylvania-based firm deals with filtering programs that they install on home computers to enable parents to block objectionable content and manage internet activity.

For more information on the Technology Safety and Security presentation, contact Margaret Dziminski, diocesan Child Protection Coordinator, at (609) 406-7400, extension 5649 or 5570, or e-mail:


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