It’s no secret that the internet can be dangerous for children. With so much access to information and people at their fingertips, it’s essential to take steps to ensure their safety. Here are ten tips to help protect your children from online predators.
The Rise of Online Predators in the Past Decade
According to a recent study, online predators have increased significantly over the past decade. The University of New Hampshire study found that the number of online predators has more than doubled since 2007. The rise in online predators is thought to be due to the increasing popularity of social networking sites and chat rooms. Predators often use these platforms to build relationships with potential victims.
They may also use them to share child pornographic images and videos. In addition, online predators are increasingly using mobile devices to access the internet, making it easier for them to remain anonymous and connect with victims. The rise in online predators is a cause for concern, and parents and guardians should take steps to protect children from these dangers.
One way to do this is to monitor their online activity and limit their access to social networking sites and chat rooms. In addition, parents and guardians should teach children about online safety, including how to identify potential predators. By taking these precautions, parents and guardians can help reduce the risk of their children becoming victims of online predators.
Be Involved in Your Child’s Online Life
One of the best ways to protect your child from online predators is to be involved in their online life. This means knowing what sites they visit, who they talk to, and what they post. You can do this by talking to your child about their online activity and setting up parental controls on their devices.
Educate Your Child About Strangers Online
It’s important that you educate your child about strangers online. They should know never to give out personal information, such as their name, address, or school name. They should also know never to meet someone they met online in person without first telling you.
Keep the Computer in a Common Area
Another good tip is to keep the computer in a common area of the house so you can easily monitor your child’s activity. This way, you can see what sites they’re visiting and who they’re talking to. You can also set limits on screen time and use filtering software to block certain websites.
Set Up Monitoring Software
Monitoring software can be a great way to protect your child from online predators. This software allows you to see what websites your child is visiting and who they’re talking to. You can also set up alerts so you’re notified if your child tries accessing blocked websites or talking to strangers online.
Understand Social Platforms Your Child Uses
It’s important to understand the social platforms your child is using. Each platform has different privacy settings, so you’ll need to know how to adjust them to protect your child. For example, on Facebook, you can adjust who can see your child’s profile and what information they share.
Conduct a Free People Search
If you’re concerned about the information available about your child online, you can conduct a free people search. This will show you what information is available about your child online and how to remove it if necessary.
Monitor Your Child’s Cell Phone
If your child has a cell phone, monitoring their activity is important. You can do this by setting limits on who they can talk to and text and what websites they can visit. You can also install monitoring software on their phone so that you can see their activity.
Report Any Suspicious Activity
If you see any suspicious activity, such as someone asking your child for personal information or trying to arrange a meeting, report it immediately to law enforcement or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your child. They should feel comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns they have about the internet or their online activity. The internet can be a great resource for children, but it’s important to take steps to ensure their safety.
Educate the Community and Schools
Many online predators are members of the community or work at schools. This means educating the community and schools about online safety is important. You can do this by talking to your child’s teacher or school administrator about online safety or by attending community events.
Following these tips can help protect your child from online predators. In addition, remember to be involved in your child’s online life, educate them about strangers, keep the computer in a common area, and report any suspicious activity immediately. Taking these precautions can help keep your child safe while they enjoy the internet.