Breck Bednar and being safe online

Around a week ago I watched a heartbreaking docudrama shown by the BBC, about the murder of 14 year old Breck Bednar and how internet safety should be a priority to show to children and young people. Even though the programme can be hard to watch, I believe showing it in schools and discussing how to stay safe not just while gaming, but anytime online is the best way raise awareness of the dangers.

Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave is brave and inspirational to have made a documentary about the loss of her son through such manipulation and deceit, while gaming online. This docudrama brought his close friends together to tell their story, and is available on BBCiPlayer for a few more weeks:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p03cgtx5/murder-games-the-life-and-death-of-breck-bednar

Gaming isn’t really something I got into, and when age 14 in 1999 it didn’t really exist like it does today. Cases of cyber bullying, grooming and other dangers were barely heard of and talked about, as the internet was still new to most. I however can understand how from others it can take over and become an addiction. Even I have times when technology and the internet can feel all-consuming and am I missing out on something?

After watching the programme I have also become aware of the work Breck’s mother is doing with starting up the Breck Foundation which raises awareness in his memory, for playing safe while using the internet. In my view this shows an amazing courage and resilience to limit the dangers to others, with sharing a heartbreaking story.  We all have to remember that the friends we make on-line are not the same as the real ones; “Play Virtual Live Real.”

More about the foundations’ work can be found at:

http://www.breckfoundation.org/

As today the 9th February is Safer Internet today the foundation is launching “No Tech 4 Breck Day”, an awareness fundraiser to help promote the safe and moderate use of technology by all, both young and old. Many opportunities exist online but moderation should be exercised, as dangers can occur without guidance and education, and then negatively affect our lives.

“No Tech 4 Breck Day” is a fundraiser between today the 9th February, and Breck’s birthday (17th March) encourages you, your friends and family to find ways to live and enjoy a single day without the gadgets we all now take for granted. This could be meeting up with friends, going for a walk or playing a board/card game. There are sponsorship forms available through the website and I will be taking part myself.

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