Donna Stechey has worked with IBM for 15 years. With her knowledge and experience in the computing industry, Donna seeks to empower young people to be safe on the Internet.


The highest threshold of Internet usage belongs to teens between the ages of 12 and 17. Many teens engage in photo and video sharing, chatting and instant messaging, social networking, online gaming, file sharing, etc. However, teens may also be victims of unwanted exposure to pornography, harassment, solicitation, and / or hate speech. Children can be exposed to these things through gaming or music sites, search engine results, or spam.


It is, therefore, imperative that parents have a basic knowledge of the Internet, understand its dangers, and apply common sense in order to protect their children from unwanted exposure. Donna urges parents to talk to their children about posting and sharing information, and to be aware of their children’s programs, screen names, profiles, and online friends. Children need to understand that what they do online should match what they do in their real lives.


- Alexandra Leek