Protecting Your Children from Online Predators
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What are Online Predators?
Online predators often try to lure children into face-to-face meetings, sexual encounters and may even send obscene materials or request the kids to send pictures of themselves. Therefore, now more than ever, it is important that your kids are taught to be diligent and on guard when they are online. Parents can also be proactive with this by limiting the screen time for their children by using some of these screen time tools and tips.
Optimum will be providing you with some tips about speaking to your children about online predators.
What Do Online Predators Do?
Online predators will often pretend to be kids or teenagers to speak to other young people on the Internet. Oftentimes, they will share a false name, photo, as well as other details.
How Online Predators Groom Their Victims
Children are often curious, they spend a lot of time on the Internet, and they want to be accepted. Due to this, teens are more at risk from online predators and may willingly talk to a predator even though they know it might be dangerous. Predators often use flattery to begin a relationship with a child or a teen.
Due to the anonymity of the Internet, teens may think they are in love with the person online, making them even more susceptible to agreeing to a face-to-face meeting. Limiting the amount of time teens spend on the Internet is another way to lower the risk. Optimum recently provided information to help parents to have some control over a child’s screen time.
Talking to Kids about Online Predators
Before beginning this topic, it should be stated that while your child may not necessarily be contacted by a predator, the possibility does exist. We have provided some guidelines that can help you speak to your children about to help them stay safe from online predators.
Ensure that photos or screen names which may result in unwanted attention from the predator are not used or sent.
Where to Report Online Predators
Below are resources you can contact for immediate help if you think your child has been contacted by an online predator.
Local police: If you feel that your child is in immediate danger, you should call 911. Additionally, call your local police department’s non-emergency number to report the problem
CyberTipline: You can contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children by visiting www.cybertipline.com or calling (800) 843-5678. You will have the ability to report crimes against children, such as the enticing children for sexual acts online, material of an obscene nature sent to children, and child pornography.
It is our hope that this article has helped provide you with some tips, advice and additional resources to help you keep your children safe online. Feel free to come back to this page if you forget some of these tips and resources and to see if there are any updates to this article.
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