It doesn’t matter how old the kids are, their activities in real life or on the internet can be a threat not only to them, but to other members of the family. They can even be a threat to your child’s friends or co-workers.
Whether it is online sexual predators or extremist recruiters there are steps you can do to protect your kids. Here are some identifiers and tips to help keep your children safe from online predators.
There are any number of types of internet stalkers. Stalkers have 4 main objectives:
- Emotionally harass
- Criminally manipulate their prey.
A stalker can be any person:
- Someone you went to high school with
- Person you dated in real life
- Person you dated through an online service
- Coworker or supervisor
- Stranger whom you ride the train with every day
- Stranger who found your writing online
- Someone you randomly friended on Facebook
Some key things to look for with your children:
- Spending a lot of time alone on the mobile or computer, especially in the night.
- You find objectionable material on your computer.
- Your children are receiving gifts from people you don’t know.
- Your child turns off the PC or obscures the mobile from sight or refuse to let you see what is on it.
- The child begins to be withdrawn from you and the family.
- Your child is using internet accounts that you do not recognize.
- Snapchat, Cyber Dust, VaporChat and other mobile apps that are designed to allow users to send and receive messages that disappear.
There are a number of things you can do to find out what your children are doing:
- Talk to them regularly.
- Check caller ID
- Check your phone bill for numbers dialed that you dont recognize
- Keep your child’s passwords and check your child’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts. (not to invade privacy but to confirm no one is preying on them)
- Install software to track email, chat, websites, etc that are being used. A good program for your PC is “SpectorPro“. 100% discreet, they won’t even know it is on the PC. Mobile software that records email, chat, texts, etc for mobile phones is available. One such program is “My Mobile Watchdog“
If you suspect or find out someone is preying on your child:
- Treat them with respect. Consider talking to them. Communicate and help them understand the dangers of online predators (radical recruiters, sexual predators, stalkers, etc)
- Keep all recorded data
- If talking to them doesn’t do the job, contact authorities to investigate.