Local News

Knightdale Grandmother Sets Sights on Cyberspace Safety

Posted May 7, 2007
Updated May 8, 2007

— Mary Conyers came out of retirement with one goal in mind: To keep kids safe online. She got the idea after watching her own granddaughters try to navigate the treacherous virtual waters of cyberspace.

So far, the Knightdale grandmother has started a non-profit called "Protect Every Child,” which has distributed hundreds of free DVDs to help schools and parents educate their kids about being safe online.

The DVD includes the basics — don't talk to strangers and don't share personal information. These rules seem simple, but young computer-users violate them every day.

One girl who won’t violate those rules is Conyers’ 16-year-old granddaughter, Whitney.

“I pretty much keep my stuff private and try not to put out too much information,” Whitney said. “I don't talk to anyone I don't know. All my friends on my buddy list are people I know from school and stuff.”

As Conyers sees it, parents protect their children in many other areas of life, but not enough when it comes to the Internet.

“You wouldn't let your son or daughter leave the driveway until they know all of the rules about driving and make sure they follow them,” she said. “The same thing is true of the Internet.”

Conyers believes the Internet has become a virtual playground for child sex offenders.

“There's no way that law enforcement can ever catch every sex offender or online predator. I think we've got to do that through the kids. They can slam the door and lock it,” she said.

Conyers said she has received 600 requests for the DVD in the past three weeks from 41 states and several other countries. She is trying to raise money to accommodate everyone.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • mythoughts22 May 8, 2007

    i applaud this woman more people need to do things like this...

  • latanya512 May 8, 2007

    ron White, I said it and you know what, I don't know you to say a mean comment like that but you don't know too much about teenage girls to make your comments either. Like I said I agree with some of the things you said and I definitely agree with this myspace.com being monitored. Kids use the site to visit with friends and cousins out of state and the perverts are taking advantage of this. My space started off good but like all things some things end.

  • msudawg May 8, 2007

    NappyHeadedHo: I wasn't aware that it was the police that are supposed to educate our children on internet safety. I kind of thought that is what parents are for, I know the police haven't informed me of anything. I applaud Mary for helping to reach out to parents that don't have a clue of what goes on in cyberspace. I watch my children and I try to keep an eye on my friends children, some parents just don't get how dangerous the internet can be and kids think they are invincible and nothing will happen to me until some pervert comes to their door.

  • salut2daking May 8, 2007

    To all the people that are focused on ronwhite...that is how the devil gets you. You are focused on him and not the real issue at hand. We are all here for the same reason, and we all state our OPINIONS. Stay focused people. Mary needs our help and mainly the children need our help.

  • Kids Come First May 8, 2007

    To all the Nay sayers:

    I know Mary, and she is a warm wonderful women who has more knowledge of whats going on out there then most. She has the guts to take a stand...DO YOU?? When your kid is found in a ditch somewhere (God forbid), think of Mary, and just maybe you will get it in your thick skulls what is happening to our children.

  • nithea May 8, 2007

    Law enforcement gets paid to do this job. Old Grandmothers should stay at home at knit sweaters. This lady needs to keep her nose out of other peoples' business. She's probably lived her whole life in Knightdale and just seen a computer for the first time.

  • salut2daking May 8, 2007

    I use myspace to talk to my family and I use facebook and hi5. They are good sites but perverts makes those sites bad. Simple solution...stick to who you know. All the people in my accounts are people I know. I get invitations from strangers all the time..usually some half naked girl. I never accept. The next thing I know their account has been deleted. But still monitor your children. Ask them to go into their sites and view the friend list. That is important. If they have something like 300 friends then there is a problem. I suggest not having more than 20 friends.

  • RonWhite4President May 8, 2007

    such hostile comments about me, shame on yall, you seem to think im out there doing this crazy stuff. im just saying to parents out there to actually do some "parenting" and supervise your teens that are on the internet 24-7. like the comment about the myspace outburst. there should be an age limit to that. people posting on there where they live, there friends, what they drive, hangout spots, anybody can view this stuff. and for the person who says to watch out for people like me i got 2 words for you....shove it!!

  • Kids Come First May 8, 2007

    It seems Ron White would blame a little girl instead of an adult, Boy that raises a flag for me, and besides who can trust the opinion of someone that would go out to have an "ICE CREAM COMB" RON WHITE 4 PRESIDENT...I THINK NOT

  • msudawg May 8, 2007

    RonWhite: do you have any idea what goes on with kids on the internet? I don't think so. These kids get on to talk to their friends, at least that is what my daughter does, but there are sickos out there just waiting to prey on them and pretend to be someone they are not. MySpace is a prime example of a really bad site for kids to go on, it allows anyone that is a member to see your personal profile and while these kids create them thinking it is a way to communicate with their friends what they don't know if that the perverts are out there trying to figure out who they are and where they live. I don't think most of them are surfing for boyfriends, just on talking to people they all ready know and doing homework. My daughter is required to use the internet every night to do her school work, most of her books are online not actual books. She does this while IM's her friends and discussing the assignment, yet there is always some pervert out there lurking.