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Parents Need To Know the Threat of Online Predators is Real

May 11, 2008
As a parent you should know the threat of online predators is real. Our children truly are our future, and as parents we work to offer them kindness, direction and answers in a gentle and helpful manner.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our children remain at risk. One risk technology has introduced in modern society is that of Internet Predators, people who would put our children in harms way, at the click of a button.

Think the Internet is benign? Think again. More and more children use the Internet as a primary source of communication, interaction and education. The Internet can also be a haven however, for malice and disaster. If you have not heard already, a new threat, the online predator, is now aggressively seeking our children, and we owe it to them to do everything possible to protect them from this insidious and often nebulous danger.

Recent reports and news media are just a reminder of the daily threat children face when they log onto the Internet. Most children are at risk, because most homes have at least one computer children access on a regular basis. Newsweek has reported that more than half of U.S. households owned a personal computer with high-speed access to the Net. This access can among other things, expose children young and old alike to increasing danger, including exposure to online predators.

Despite the frightening facts and statistics that exist about online predators, the real truth is parents can do a lot to protect their children from real and perceived threats. Computers DO serve many useful purposes.

If you are reading this article then you are a parent or family member interested in protecting your loved one. The first step toward protecting your children is education. This website mentioned below will provide you with helpful action steps you can take and tools you can use to protect your children while they surf the Internet.

If you are not well-versed in all there is to know about the Internet, you need to and you can adopt a strategic plan of attack and awareness that will protect you and your family.

You must first understand what an online predator is. You may not realize that there is no one type of online predator. Some are pedophiles. Others act as identity thieves, attempting to acquire your child's personal information online.

Others are mentally unstable, looking to download their life story on your child, increasing your child's burden, stress and insecurities. They prey on children young and old alike; children from secure families, as well as children from dysfunctional homes. Many predators have problems of their own, they may come from abused homes and they may have mental disorders. This can lead to abusive or illegal behaviors they act out from the comfort and safety of their home.

Your child may be the victim of an online predator as you read this, and you may not even know it. As a parent, you can not simply use a single term or image to define what an online predator is or is not. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia compiled by online users, defines an online predator as someone who uses chat rooms to pick people with a -malicious- or -bogus- intent.

This definition is partly true. Most online predators do intend to engage in harmful or malicious acts. Others may want to trick your child into revealing information that may lead to identity theft or related crimes. But online predators do not live in chat rooms alone.

In fact, your child may bump into an online predator almost anywhere on the Net. Social networking sites like My Space make it increasingly easy for online predators to stalk and target unsuspecting victims, even though many sites including this one use filters and other devices with the intent of protecting its users.
About the Author
Leon Edward provides parents with online child predator warning signs,
dangers and steps for Internet
Kid Safety
at www.ChildPrivacyOnline.com
He also presents a smart parenting

for todays children at www.focusonthefamilylife.com
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