Protecting Your Kids from Online Predators


by Jim Hague,

CEO, CrystalDI (www.crysaldi.com)

The predator has one goal and that is to have an intimate physical experience regardless if it’s against the child’s will.

When
a kid (anyone under the age of 17) or young adult is molested, the
impact cannot only destroy the innocence of a childhood, but causes life
long scars that may never heal.

Kids
experiences shame, guilt, and low esteem. Many experience intimacy
issues themselves or become sexually aggressive. Regardless, the
predator is a monster and should be treated as such.

We
can sympathize the fact that many predators were victims themselves.
Sometimes it may be necessary. After all, these people need help since
they have been victims themselves. However, the minute they act-out on a
child, they should get help ‘after’ they have the received the
punishment.

Unfortunately, the predator has found a new tool in addition to their deranged mind…the Internet.

Weather
it’s a predator or a sexual addict, the Internet has become a haven for
those who can’t help but lurk after the innocent. To understand how to
protect your child from predators we must understand the mind of a
predator.

On
screen these predators can make themselves into anything they want.
Predators can be a 40-year man interacting with a 12-year-old girl and
know exactly what to say. They become your child’s best friend and build
the type of relationship that child has always wanted. That predator
will listen, offer advise, and build enough trust to the point where the
child will share the most intimate details of their lives, like phone
numbers, addresses, and eventually pictures. The child, unaware that
they are being hunted, may grow to value online relationships over the
reality of their family and friends.

Predators
know the lingo and the popular trends of the younger generation. To say
that they are wolves in sheepskin is an understatement. In the
Internet, the sheepskin is a username. Instead of open fields where the
sheep graze, the Internet offers chat rooms and social networking sites.

It’s very challenging to catch a predator at first because they hide behind their online profiles.

Protecting your child from the potential of being victimized is not only our jobs as parents, but as human beings.  There are some signs you should look out for:

 

  1. Talk
    to you kids about the dangers of online predators and encourage them to
    communicate with you. Don’t let your child have an online profile
    without first taking to them. 
  2. Limit your child’s participation on too many social media websites. Allow them just one, like Facebook. 
  3. Most
    social networking websites has a minimum age limit of 13 years old. Do
    not let you child create online accounts by lying about their age. 
  4. If
    your child is of age, oversee what they write be aware of check their
    list of friends. Ask them not to accept any friend request unless they
    know who the other person is. 
  5. Control
    their emails. For young children, make sure to create emails in which
    you copied on all their correspondence. Do not allow your kids to use
    their private emails for use of social networking. 
  6. Always know your child’s username and password. Go into their account and make sure that all interactions are safe. 
  7. Make
    sure your child does not upload revealing pictures of themselves that
    show too much skin. Teenage girls are most at risk for attack by
    predators. 
  8. Look
    for subtle signs such as (1) your child is quick to log on to the
    Internet especially at night or (2) your child quickly switches screens
    when you enter the room. 
  9. Have the computer in common room. A child who is involved with an online relationship with a predator wants privacy. 
  10. Obvious
    signs of your child being involved with a predator are (1). Child
    receiving and sending sexually explicit pictures or emails (2). The
    predator sends gifts as a way to lure your child. 
  11. Use online parental controls like the ones built into Windows 7 or Vista.

    Do a search on ‘parental controls’ and you will have plenty to choose from.

If you suspect that the person your child is communicating with is a probable predator, then gather the necessary materials:

  1. Printouts of conversations
  2. Screen captures
  3. Explicit photographs found on your child’s hard drive.

Gather all materials on a disk (or bring the computer itself) and report to police.

The reason why kids value online relationships is because they may be lacking a valued relationship at home and school.  In
the news we heard about young people committing suicide. The reason for
this is because the real world is too difficult to handle for some with
low self-esteem or relationship issues. The virtual world allows such
person to re-create himself. The virtual world is less painful and all
are equal.

So never ever scold or punish a child for attracting a predator. It is not their fault, it’s the fault of the predator.

The predators know this. Now you know this.

Using this article (as well as others) I hope we do something about this.

 

 

Jim Hague

Comments can be sent to jimhague@hotmail.com

www.webtipstv.com

www.crystaldi.com

http://www.webtipstv.com/sharing.html

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