Protecting Your Child From Online Predators

February 12th, 2013 posted by Josefin O'Brien

by Josefin O’Brien

It seems like a weekly occurrence: another news story of another child abducted, raped or murdered by an online predator. How can this still be happening? As we all know, there are many great things you can learn and discover on the Internet, but the online safety of our children is something we have to maintain. We have to outsmart the people who prey on children—so what can you do to minimize the chances of an online predator victimizing your child? The following information comes directly from the FBI.

  • Talk to your child about online danger and teach responsible use of online resources.
  • Go online with your child—have them show you where they go, what sites they love.
  • Keep the computer in a common room, not a child’s bedroom—it’s much more difficult for a predator to communicate with a child when the screen is visible to other family members.
  • Utilize parental controls provided by your ISP and heavily monitor any chat rooms that your child is visiting (or consider disabling that function).
  • Maintain access to your child’s online account and randomly check his or her email.
  • Find out what computer safeguards are in use at your child’s school, the library, and at the homes of your child’s friends—these are all places outside of your supervision where your child could encounter an online predator.

Instruct your children:

  • to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online
  • to never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet or online service to people they don’t personally know
  • to never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number
  • to never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images
  • to never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or harassing
  • that whatever they are told online may or may not be true

Taking the precautions above could make a huge difference in your child’s safety.

Josefin O'Brien (7 Posts)


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