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10th Annual WiredKids Summit

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Teenangels Trailer

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Teenangels / About Us / What is Teenangels?

What is Teenangels?

What is Parry's Role? ›

An Introduction by Parry Aftab, their Founder and Chief

The Teenangels were born as a result of a TV special I did in April 1999 with ABC News, in New Jersey. The special was about teen girl safety, and I was asked to be the Internet safety guru for the special. Part of the special involved me speaking to teenage girls at a school in New Jersey.

When the computer connection predictably broke down, the girls just lined up at microphones and fired off questions. That was when I first realized that teenagers were concerned about their younger siblings, cousins, young neighbors and kids they baby-sit for when it came to online safety. I was also thrilled to be teaching online safety pointers to people who really understood the risks, and how to tell the real dangers from the merely annoying things online.

Five of these girls were selected by their school to work with me in developing the first teenager online safety ambassador program for the WiredKids project. The girls ranged in age from fourteen to seventeen and named themselves Teenangels after a program started by WiredSafety.

They began training over their summer vacations, sacrificing hot days at the beach and summer jobs to devote their time to this mission. They worked closely with me to learn about online safety. Sitting in my conference room, they had online safety drilled into them, and gave me the challenge of my career - questioning why things were dangerous, and wanting to know how dangerous they were.

The Teenangels have met and worked with the Law Enforcement's Innocent Images Unit operatives, a New Jersey State Police Cybercrime Task Force detective who was instrumental in finding the person charged as the Melissa virus creator, and the Net Nanny creator, Gordon Ross.

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