The internet's hidden danger

A TENNIS coach and former junior champion is the latest person to destroy his life by sending highly inappropriate messages on the internet.

As he found out when police came knocking on his door, the 13-year-old girl he thought he was contacting was in fact a police officer playing the part.

There is no excuse that he could offer in the court about his behaviour and he is no doubt reflecting today why he was so stupid.

Those strokes of the keyboard have destroyed his life as he knew it. Now he will be branded by this charge and finding a job will become more than difficult. He certainly won't be invited to coach junior tennis players.

The case opens up the issue of anyone who is surfing the internet who happens to download inappropriate material or indeed sends off messages such as the ones featured in yesterday's Ipswich court case.

I know that I have opened up sites to have pop ups suddenly spring to life offering everything from a Russian bride to a deal that will make you rich.

Years ago there where times when I was curious as to what they were all about, no not the Russian bride, but fortunately I never clicked the open tab.

The internet is fantastic in what it delivers, but it also must be carefully watched, particularly if you have teenagers.

I am not saying there is a problem leaving your pubescent son alone in his room for hours on his computer; especially when you have one whose only communication has been a grunt for the past year or so.

You just need to inform him of the dangers the internet can pose and then trust him to do the right thing.

Okay it may be better to take the computer off him.

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