Minimize the Chances of an Online Predator Victimizing a Child

  • Warn your children about potentially dangerous people who may try to befriend them online.
  • Keep the computer in a public space in your house, not a bedroom.
  • Don’t allow children to use a screen name profile or to give out personal information online.  (not even what school they go to or city they live in)
  • Use parental controls provided by your service provider or blocking software.
  • Monitor or discourage all chat room usage.
  • Insist children never agree to meet someone they’ve met online without permission.

Types of Children Predators Target and Prey Upon

  • Children with lower self-esteem
  • Children who divulge too much personal information online.
  • Children who frequent chat rooms

Signs Your Child Might Be at Risk Online

  • Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night.
  • You find pornography on your child’s computer.
  • Your child receives phone calls from people you don’t know or is making calls to numbers you don’t recognize.
  • Your child turns the computer off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.
  • You child becomes withdrawn from the family.  Offenders try to drive wedges between a child and their family, trying to accentuate any minor problems at home a child may have.
  • You child is using an online account belonging to someone else.  Offenders will sometimes provide potential victims with a computer account for communications with them.

Monitor not only computer activity but also cell phone activity. Examine cell phone bills for suspicious activity.

Learn about text messaging or “sexting”. Taking revealing pictures of themselves is becoming a trend.  Pictures are then sent to classmates via email or cell phone and end up online and in the hands of predators.  Learn the technology and learn the language.

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