Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 


 PLEASE take the time to read this.  It came through the inbox a while back, and considering how many young BSB fans are out there, we thought it would be a good idea to post it here on the web site.  Remember, like everything else, the internet can be a dangerous place.  Always keep yourself safe.
 


Shannon could hear the footsteps behind her as she walked toward home. The thought of being
followed made her heart beat faster. "You're being silly," she told herself, "no one is following
you." To be safe, she began to walk faster, but the footsteps kept up with her pace. She was afraid to look back and she was glad she was almost home.

Shannon said a quick prayer, "God please get me home safe." She saw the porch light burning and
ran the rest of the way to her house. Once inside, she leaned against the door for a moment,
relieved to be in the safety of her home. She glanced out the window to see if anyone was there.
The sidewalk was empty.

After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on
under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213: Hi I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

GoTo123: LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

ByAngel213: Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I
looked out.

GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213: Yes and we won!!

GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213: We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

GoTo123: : What is your team called?

ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really kewl.

GoTo123: Did you pitch?

ByAngel213:: No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye

GoTo123: Catch you later.. Bye

Meanwhile......

GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he
highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about
Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon

Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985

Age:13

State where she lived: North Carolina

Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall.

Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she Had just told him. He knew she
stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew
she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton
Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey.

He knew she was in the seventh grade at the Canton Junior High School.

She had told him all this in the conversations they had on-line. He had enough information to find
her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ball park that day. She
didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents
were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child.
Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.

By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.

Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her.

It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely. He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again
as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her
shirt. He knew he had found her. Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few
blocks to Shannon's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get
his car. Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon's
house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room. "Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa. "Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story about you."

Shannon moved cautiously to a chair across from the man. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am Shannon?" The man asked.

"No", Shannon answered.

"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14 and he lives in Michigan!"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see Shannon there are people
on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to find kids and hurt them,
I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to
teach you how dangerous it is to give out too much information to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. Your name, the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze."

Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?" She
nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and
murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet
they do it all the time on-line.

The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you
know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I
hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again."

"I won't," Shannon promised solemnly.

"Will you tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!" That night Shannon and her dad and Mom all knelt down together and prayed. They thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.

Please send this to as many people as you can to teach them not to give any information about
themselves. This world we live in today is too dangerous to even give out your age, let alone anything else.
 



NEVER, EVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER give out ANY personal information about yourself!  AT THE MOST, all anyone on-line would need to know about you would be your first name/age.  DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT.  PLEASE, ya'll keep yourselves safe!!  Take these precautions to make your internet experiences fun AND safe:

1) Check your "outgoing name" on your email.  In web-based emails especially, like yahoo, hotmail, excite, etc., your first and last name are visible to anyone that receives an email from you.  You can change it through yahoo (I'm not sure about the others) by going into "Options", then "Preferences" and changing "outgoing name".  Just use your first name, or change it to you screen name or something else, but ALWAYS keep your last name a secret from others online. Ask your parents to help you change your email "outgoing name" on your default email address (the one you got with your service provider, such as ---@aol.com)

2) When signing guest books, be aware that just because you click on private message doesn't keep your name or your email address private.  If you want to leave your email address to the web master of the guest book, leave it WITHIN the private message.  And there is no need to put your full name on ANYTHING on the internet.   Your first name or your screen name is enough, just as long as the field has SOMETHING typed in it.

3) Don't register your email address to search engines, because that gives out you name, address, and in some cases, your phone number.  Surely, anyone you want to have your email address will already have it.

4) Don't post pictures of yourself on your web site, or send them to anyone that you only know on-line.  It is easy to make them into not-so-nice pictures.  Just look at some of the BSB pictures people  have been sick enough to make.  Do you want YOUR face showing up all over the internet on a naked body?  If you really want to put a picture of yourself up on your web site, get a picture where you are wearing sunglasses and/or a hat, or colorize it, and make a frame around or something.  But the best bet is to just NOT put up a picture.
 



*For those of you who think that you have an on-line relationship with one, or all, of the Backstreet Boys, think again.  We highly doubt that BSB have the TIME to get on-line and make friends with anyone.   And we're sure that they would not want you to subject yourselves to danger because you thought you were talking to one of them.  Ya'll DO want to be ALIVE when the REAL BSB come to your town, right?  Go here to read what Backstreet keyboardist Tommy Smith has said about imposters on the internet. (Come back when you're done!)  So, we'll say it ONE MORE TIME!  KEEP YOURSELVES SAFE ON-LINE!!  To take a pun from the single "I WANT IT THAT WAY", and we're sure ya'll do too!  As always KTBSPA!*