Parents As Internet Partners
Online Safety

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Who Is Mary Green?



As mentioned previously, no one is in charge of the World Wide Web. No one monitors the accuracy or reliability of what is published on the WWW. Unfortunately, children and teens tend to accept what they find on the web as being true.

Anyone can scan a photograph, post it on the WWW, and identify it as anyone they please. This is what is so dangerous to children and teens. They are even more prone to trust a picture!

Here is an example of what often happens:

Your child goes to a website where she meets Mary Green:
 

Picture of Girl 1 Hi! I'm Mary Green. I am a third-grader at Antioch Elementary School in Antioch, NY. I love to read, skateboard, and I'm a great fan of Sarah Hughes who just won the Gold Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. I would love to a e-mail penpal from Long Island, especially one from Great Neck. Please e-mail me at mary432@hotmail.com.

 
 
 
 
Hi! I'm Mary Green. I am a third-grader at Antioch Elementary School in Antioch, NY. I love to read, skateboard, and I'm a great fan of Sarah Hughes who just won the Gold Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. I would love to a e-mail penpal from Long Island, especially one from Great Neck. Please e-mail me at mary432@hotmail.com.
Picture of Girl 2

 
 
 
 
Picture of Girl 3 Hi! I'm Mary Green. I am a third-grader at Antioch Elementary School in Antioch, NY. I love to read, skateboard, and I'm a great fan of Sarah Hughes who just won the Gold Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. I would love to a e-mail penpal from Long Island, especially one from Great Neck. Please e-mail me at mary432@hotmail.com.

So which is the real "Mary Green"???

If you can't tell, your child won't be able to tell either. But, she might be tempted to respond to Mary and after a few e-mails, your child may feel comfortable about telling Mary about herself, where you live, etc. This is why it is important that you stress to your child some basic online safety rules.

If your child is interested in making friends on the Internet, it is important she selects friends from monitored sites only.

By the way, there is no real Mary Green. The pictures of these girls were just pictures that were on the Internet that were saved and inserted on this webpage. All it takes is the knowledge of how to do it and an unsuspecting child can be tricked into e-mailing to an Internet predator.

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Updated : March 7, 2002
© Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, 2002.