Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Protect Your Kids From Predators on The Internet

Child predators can be found in many parts of the world, and the internet is no exception. These perpetrators often use tactics online to try to lure children into their dangerous schemes, and you’ll do everything possible as a parent to keep your children from becoming victims. Here are seven tips that can help protect your kids from predators on the internet.

Warn About Giving Out Personal Details

Your children should be warned about the dangers of giving out their real names, home address, and names of their schools to people online.

Some predators try to pose as children and may try to lure your kids into sharing their personal details as a way to be friendly. It’s also important to tell your children not to give their phone numbers or email addresses to people online.

Keep Computers and Phones Out of Private Areas

Children often use their computers and phones in the privacy of their bedrooms, but this can create more opportunities for online predators to communicate with your kids.

If computers and phones are kept in communal areas within your home, your children will be less inclined to try to communicate with individuals who could be dangerous.

This will also give you the chance to monitor their communications better so that you can make sure that your kids aren’t engaging in inappropriate conversations.

Monitor Social Media Activity

Social media platforms are often used by child predators to search for victims, so it’s important to monitor your kids’ social media activity as much as possible to keep everyone in your family safe. Some social media platforms don’t even require people to sign up for accounts to access them, which can make it even easier for child predators to lure children.

Social media human trafficking experts suggest making sure that your kids’ social media accounts are set to private so that only authorized users can communicate with them can create an additional safety barrier. You can also use social media tracking tools to reviews social media activity.

Warn About Sharing Explicit Images

Some young people are known to share sexually suggestive or fully graphic images of themselves to people they meet online. Even though this may seem like harmless, naughty behavior, these images can be used by online predators to try to blackmail your children into doing what they want. Sharing photos of a sexual nature can also make children feel more connected to online predators, who may try to use additional grooming tactics to lure your kids.

Be Open for Talking

As a parent, you’ll want to let your children know that they can always talk to you about concerns that they may have about going online. Kids often get embarrassed over certain topics that pertain to their internet usage, and offering support in a nonjudgmental way can help your children feel more comfortable about talking to you.

Understood.org states, even if your children break certain rules regarding their online activities, they should still be able to talk to you without you getting overly mad or rendering severe punishment.

Forbid Private In-person Meetings

Your children should be instructed to never meet people from online in real life. This can be a surefire way for a predator to lure a child into engaging in sexual behaviors or becoming a victim of human trafficking.

If you believe that someone a child of yours met online is actually a sincerely good person and wants to meet in person, you should attend this meeting to keep your child safe.

Don’t Be Afraid to Check Your Children’s Computers and Phones

You want to respect your children’s privacy, but you shouldn’t hesitate to check their computers and phones if you suspect any potentially harmful online activities.

You can review your children’s internet browsing histories to look for sites where they may have communicated with online predators. Your kids’ phones should also be checked on occasion to look for messages that were sent by possible predators who met your children online.

The internet can be a much safer place for your children if you do everything possible to thwart the efforts of child predators. With the right safety measures in place, your children will have a greater chance of steering clear from these harmful individuals online.

Tim Esterdahl

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