Pedophiles are on the Internet looking for children. Protecting your child from online sexual predators is possible if you know these 5 simple steps. Every family should be concerned about online sexual predators as these predators are increasing in numbers on the Internet.
Statistics indicate that one out of every five children, at the very least, will be exposed to an online predator or some sort of offensive material. Most parents are likely already aware of online sexual predators. It seems that every week, another young person has become another victim while innocently being online. It is also a known fact that children, specifically adolescents, are at a very high risk of being preyed upon online. The NBC Dateline program uncovered many Internet sexual predators and arrested them one by one. This is obviously a serious concern for all parents.
Online predators do not fit any certain mold, if you will. This program was unbelievable as it revealed many professional men being arrested after inappropriately communicating online with someone they thought was a child. These pedophiles look like everyone else and come from all walks of life. Some of the men that were arrested would surprise you.
Some were in the military and some men were engineers. There was also a doctor and a rabbi that were also arrested. All of these men showed up at a "staged" setting where the young girl was waiting at her house, just waiting for the predator to show up, after engaging in an online chat room conversation. While there have been a couple of hundred potential predators that were arrested in this sting operation, there are still many more predators that go undetected and never get caught. This has to stop and it is such a scary thought to even think about.
We all have to try and do more to protect our kids. Many adolescents find themselves in a very dangerous situation when they innocently were online chatting with what they thought was another adolescent. It seems all too common these days when another child has been victimized by a sexual predator. Worse yet, some are kidnapped and murdered, following online activity that a child so innocently became involved with. Kids may feel that they can trust others on the Internet and may not realize any of the many dangers that predators create.
We as parents need to take extra measures to help protect our kids. Many parents still wonder what else they can do and the question still exists. What can we as parents do to better protect our children from these online sexual offenders? Parents understand all of these dangers of online predators and certainly try to do their part at monitoring online activity. Most parents admittedly feel that their efforts probably are not enough to completely protect their children and wonder what else they can do to get that extra "piece of mind" we all want to have. The statistics just seem to get worse, however. Some parents may not be aware of the simple tips that they can use to help protect their children from these sexual predators.
While you probably don't want to place your child in a paper bag, you certainly do not want to ban them from all of their social networking, such as MySpace. The bad thing about these social networking sites is that they are the perfect target for online predators to congregate. In addition, sites such as these provide a lot of personal information that is very accessible to the wrong kind of people.
Things such as pictures and specific information about your child's identity should not be visible as it can be very risky, to say the least. Fortunately, there are things that you can do as a parent to help protect your children when they are online. Here are 5 tips to help protect your children from online predators. 1. Talk to your child about online predators.
Teach your children regarding the many possibly deadly dangers of online sexual predators. Many kids are naive about online relationships and don't fully understand the risks. 2. Seriously consider prohibiting your child from using chat rooms. Predators love chat rooms! These predators may pose as a child themselves to gain access to your child.
3. You should closely monitor their online activity if allowed to participate in any of the chat rooms and place the computer in a room that is common to everyone within the household. A very obvious tip, but many times overlooked, is that you should never permit your child to have the computer in their own bedroom.
4. Pay close attention to your child's behavior. If something doesn't seem quite right, ask MORE questions and always know exactly where they are going when leaving the house. 5.
Set computer guidelines for your child such as requiring permission to download anything! Predators have a habit of sending sexually explicit material.
Cecilia Valenzuela is an advocate for keeping children safe. Valenzuela is a full-time translator and part-time teacher and has volunteered many hours of her personal time with children. You can find out more at http://www.DesktopEyeware.com