The Internet is a great way for your child to do research, gain new knowledge and help them with their school work. But, as a parent, you all know that Online Predators are the dark side of the Internet. These Predators hide behind the anonymity that the Internet provides them.We all take this threat seriously and want to protect our children from these Online Predators. First, you need to educate yourself. Then you need to teach your children how to safely use the Internet. Remember, your children may be very naive and trusting. Your children need all of the guidance you can give them to protect them against this ever present threat.
Here are 5 steps to protect your children from Online Predators:
1) Explain to your child that they should never give out any personal information. Online Predators have multiple accounts and target your child through these accounts to gain personal information. For example, through one account they may get their name, then with another account they may find out where they go to school. You get the picture.
2) Tell your child to never post any pictures on the Internet. If they want to post a picture you should review the picture before it is goes online. The pictures should not contain any personal information. For example, with their football jersey, or high school letter jacket. Anything that would give an Online Predator an opening to connect with your child. You wouldn’t want the predator saying something like, “Hey I see you like football!” That may be all it takes to open up a conversation between your child and the predator.
3) Never allow your children to use the computer unsupervised. Always monitor their use of the computer and install computer filters and blocks. Have a discussion with your children and explain which websites are appropriate to use. Learn how to track which sites your children are using. Online Predators know when children are not supervised by their parents when they are using the computer. (Especially when they are using the computer late at night when their parents are asleep.)
4) Stress to your children that if they ever encounter a person that asks them to keep their online activities a secret from their parents that they should notify you immediately. This is a telltale sign that the person that they are interacting with may be an Online Predator. Why else would they ask your child to “keep this a secret”?
5) Finally, explain to your children that they are to never meet or agree to meet someone in person that they have connected with online. If a person asks your child to meet them in person they need to tell you immediately. Let your child know what type of risks they would be taking if they actually did meet with a stranger. They need to know.
Always be patient, supportive and understanding when your children talk to you about the Internet. By keeping the lines of communication open, your children will feel comfortable about coming to you if a problem should arise.
To learn more about how to protect your children from Online Predators, please visit the websites listed below:
How are you protecting your child on the internet?