December Poll Results

Question:  How do you think a child or teen can stay safe on the Internet?

    58 people voted.  Their ages ranged from 9 to 45.  9 people were 
        age 21 or over, 13 were age 16-20, 28 were age 11-15, 4 were 
       age 7-10, and 4 did not give their age.

    13 reported that they had given out either their last name or home  
        address to someone they had met on the Internet.  8 of these 
        were age 13 to 18.  3 were age 9-12.

Votes for how to stay safe on the Internet were as follows:

      1 vote for: "Give out all personal information that anyone asks you 
                    for." (age 17)

     35 votes for: "Give out your firstname, age, sex, and say what you 
                     think about your problem but give no other personal 
                     information about yourself (e.g. your lastname, your home
                     city, what you look like, etc.)."  

     45 votes for: "Don't always believe that people in the chat room or 
                     people who email you are who they say they are.

    24 votes for: "Remember that having a problem like bedwetting makes 
                     you emotionally vulnerable to bad people." 

    33 votes for: "Block messages from bad people in chat rooms."

     36 votes for: "Tell your parent or teacher if you get a suspicious 

      0 votes for: "Just lurk... look at bulletin boards and chat rooms but 
                     do not ever interact with anyone there.

        2 votes for: "Never have an email pen pal." (Age 15, and 14)

      0 votes for: "Never use chat rooms or bulletin boards."

      8 had other ideas, such as:

Age 10: "Use the internet at your library so people can't trace you."

Age 22: "Bulletin boards and chat rooms like the one on this site are great because they provide a place for bedwetters and others who understand the problem can talk about it in relative anonymity. Unfortunately, though, not everyone who visits this page seems to share that purpose . . . I wouldn't ever give out any potentially identifying information (last name, address, etc.) on a site like this just because of the potential of people misusing the information, and also to avoid advertising my bladder problem to people who have no business knowing about it! I do think that the Internet can be a safe place to do business and such (I've given my address and credit card number before on secure servers), but in an open public forum like this the smartest thing to do is definitely to go by a first name or nickname only and leave it at that. If you do exchange e-mail with somebody, remember that not all people are who they say they are, and only give identifying information to a "pen pal" if you're ABSOLUTELY sure thry're really who they claim to be."

Age 15: "Be suspicious!"

Age 13: "just talk to people i don't think that telling them stuff is gonna do u much bad i mean yeh maybe thye get frills out of it but thats them if there lying i mean i've met someone i met on the net in real life and we were good friends and we still are."

Age 33: "use a code name and change it from site to site. only give out e-mail address to people and companies you know and trust"

Age 22: "Sign up for a free e-mail like with netaddress that you can get rid of if you start getting nuisance e-mails. Give out your home city but never give out your postcode or surname as certain sites like can show you where this person lives with that information"

Age 13: "I think the idea to lurk and look first is a good idea. Afterwards, we can interact with people in the BB or the chatroom when we feel confident enaugh. That is what i did first. I think internet is safe cuz we're like anonymous and no one can get us. But I agree that there is a lot of strange people out there and we must also take care, specially in the chatroom"

Age 16: "use an antivirus programm if you want to open files other people send you"

Age 16: "I think people have to keep real since if yo can't handle a chat room then i'd pray for you in real life since if your going to meet someone jsut go with your mom and a friend and in an open place and nothing should happen that bad and with a bit of luck u culd make some good friends who are understanding i mean people can find ou where you live quite easily over here in the uk u just buy product from the royal mail called lifestyle and its not very expensive, or you just look it up in a telephone diretory and besides perants just get over concernd if you tell thm u got a suspicios e-mail i mean you're more likely to be held at gun point on a bus than have someone find out where you live and come and stalk you. the final thing i'd like to say is if someone annoys you just block thm since its no fun not being able to hear people and they stop annoing you."

The Internet is wonderful for kids and teens who have an embarrassing medical problem like bedwetting, because it is anonymous, and it is open.  Kids and teens with bedwetting from all over the world can interact with each other, without fear of teasing, and can help each other.  But because anyone can access the Internet, unfortunately bad people (predators) can also access it.  

Kids and teens with bedwetting usually don't talk to anyone outside the web about their problem.  Bedwetting is a secret.  Therefore kids with bedwetting tend to be somewhat isolated and vulnerable.  Predators know this and will take advantage of it.  These predators may pose as another teen or child with bedwetting or as an adult who pretends to help the child or teen, but they have an evil purpose, which may be sexual or even worse.  Therefore, it is important to always be on the lookout for predators.  Be careful on the bulletin boards and especially in the chat rooms and be cautious with anyone who emails you.  And again, please read Shannon's story.  If you just stay aware that there are also not-so-nice people out there, the Internet can provide valuable help in dealing with bedwetting and can be a fun place to meet new friends.