Child predators are everywhere, gaining ground fast in the online world, and it’s becoming harder to protect our children. Ask yourself, when was the last time you turned on the news and didn’t see something about a missing and/or abducted child? Knowing what warning signs to look for and where online predators are most active will help you in protecting your children from them, so pay attention to the following information.
The Warning Signs to Look For
If you see any of the following warning signs listed below speak to your child immediately and bring the police into it if necessary. We can’t always protect our children, but we can pay attention and act quickly to save them before it’s too late.
Your Child Has a Stronger Online Presence Lately
If you have noticed that your child is more tuned to being online instead of spending time with friends and family lately, then you may want to pay closer attention. This may not be anything dangerous, but online predators are very skilled in engulfing their potential victim, especially when it comes to talking to them on a daily or very regular basis.
Your Child Speaks About a New Friend Randomly
If all of a sudden your child has a new friend that they are actively interacting and hanging out with, be a little worried. Even if it’s nothing to worry about from how it seems, still, as a parent you should be worried. What you need to do in this situation is ask your child about their new friend. Ask them where they live, what their name is, etc.
However, don’t bring suspicion on yourself, but instead ask the regular questions that any parent would when their child has a new friend, and not because you are concerned with it being an online predator. Otherwise, they may shut down and not tell you anything.
Your Child Switches Screens
If you come into your child’s room unexpectedly when they are on the computer and they quickly switch screens or turn off the computer so you won’t see what they’re doing entirely, now is the time to get involved and find out what’s going on, who they’re talking to, what they’re talking about, etc.
You Find Pornography
Online predators use pornography as sort of a hook line for your children. They will either show them pornography of themselves or something straight from a porn site, but do not be fooled, this is not the work of your child. Online predators do this as a method of blackmail should your child try to break the relationship with them, and they will more often than not say that if they stop speaking to them, they will tell their parents what they have been looking at and doing online.
Where Online Predators Are Most Active
Chat rooms and social media, including Facebook and Twitter, are online predator hot spots. However, this does not mean you should ban your child from using them, it just means that your child, and you, should be being extremely careful in who they’re talking to, what they’re posting, etc. Check how many accounts your child has because one of them could be linked directly to an online predator.
Knowledge is Power
In this type of situation knowledge is definitely power. Knowing the signs and where online predators are most active will ensure that you can identify and eliminate the problem by the root as soon as you see it.