Preventing online predators from victimizing your children is pretty simple and easy with enough effort. The typical problem for most American homes is that they do not really accept the reality that cases of online child exploitation and abuse are increasing dramatically. Without a full acceptance of the facts, there is no sense of urgency to fight online child crimes.
Online predators play a very large part in exploiting children and teens. They do it flawlessly with the help of the internet. However, it does not mean that there’s no hope. Parents and children alike can always work together to prevent sex offenders from doing their trade. And the initial step in fighting online predators is getting to know them and how they operate.
For parents, keeping your kids informed about the following details will give better awareness and avoidance of dangerous situations online:
- The common flow of the trade starts when a predator finds a potential prey online. He uses different types of web communication tools to correspond, like chat rooms, email, instant messaging, social networking, and others.
- Right after establishing communication, he begins to convince the victim to talk via mobile phone or landline.
- As soon as a friendly or romantic relationship is established, he is able to fully convince the victim to meet in person.
- Without the parents knowing, their child had become a prey for an online predator.
Now if your kids are told in advance about the potential danger lurking in those convenient internet communication tools, they can be more cautious and prepared next time.
Furthermore, internet predators use a certain pattern of tricks in order to fully deceive or manipulate a potential victim. It may include:
- Playing the “good guy” role when the victim shares frustrations about family concerns and problems. He is very good at giving advice but in a certain way that the victim gradually becomes withdrawn from her own family.
- Best in pretending to be of the same age to that of the victim, but in the opposite sex, for most cases.
- Very keen and willing on giving presents, rewards, or gifts in exchange for favors and services.
- Shows sincerity in the relationship always being there when the victim needs him.
- Very good at insisting that any sexual stuff discussed should be kept as a secret for the both of them.
Online predators therefore have a very complex and disturbing personality. They are awfully clever and smart and the once they target a prey, there is no stopping them.
However, there is always a way to combat these daring and manipulative individuals. Though children and young teens are not that capable yet in understanding the kind of risk they are into, it’s your job as a parent to remind them of the following prevention tips:
- Avoid sending and giving away personal information online. This includes name, phone number, address, age, and others.
- Do not respond to strangers talking their way in by means of chat, forums, or instant messaging.
- Always avoid posting and uploading personal and racy images online.
- If you receive an email attachment from someone you don’t know and that you did not expect, discard it because it may contain sexually explicit material.
- Never accept any kind of gift or present from a total stranger.
- Don’t go out and meet someone you just recently knew online without the company of a parent or guardian.
- Finally, always reach out to your parents when you think someone you don’t know is trying to befriend you over the internet. Parents always know what’s best for their children.