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Protecting your child from online predators


Recognize that chatrooms are the playground of today's sexual predator.  Even monitored chatrooms offered by an Internet Provider are not able to distinguish between a predator and a teen.  I strongly urge you to not allow your child into chatrooms.  Text messaging is very similar, but in most all cases, kids know each other personally when texting. 

Tips on monitoring your child;

Place any computer your child uses in an area where you can easily monitor them

This is essential because you cannot monitor what you cannot see.  Kids tend to take more chances when they think they can get away with it.  If the prospect of you seeing everything they do is present, they will be less likely to engage in dangerous behavior.

Teach your child to not give out personal information to somebody they physically do not know.

Predators are experts at getting kids to give out personal information.  Some information may seem innocent, but if you think, it can be used against them.  Let's say that your teen daughter informs a stranger that she cannot talk tomorrow because she has cheerleading practice, that can be a problem.  From there general conversation he probably figured out what town she lives in.  From that he can figure out the school she attends and most practices happen afterschool.  So that is how that strange man sitting in the bleachers came to be there.

Confiscate cell phones at bedtime

Most smartphones can fully access the internet at all times.  Most include chat rooms apps to make chatting easier.  If it is time to get off the computer, the same holds for the cell phone.

Set Time Limits

Excessive time online is a problem.  Be particularly interested if it is late at night.  Afterschool and late night are prime predator times.

Check out your child's profiles

Kids tend to reveal too much.  You may find out about some things you would rather they not do by checking out their online profile.