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Internet Dangers For Your Child Spelled Out

Aug 17, 2007
Ah! The Internet. The wonderful World Wide Web.

A whole new door of information and possibilities has opened in our lifetimes. It is expanding everyday, too.

It also brings a macabre nightmare opening of Pandora's Box for any parent. The "Information Highway" is loaded with danger for kids.

It is important to understand how the Internet is used by predators. They do it in a number of ways: some like to befriend a child first. Often it involves attention, kindness and gifts. The process slowly introduces sexual context and content into their conversations.

Some predators immediately engage in sexually explicit conversation with children. Still others collect and trade child-pornographic images, while others seek real face to face meetings with kids.

It is also important to know that the FBI states that an online predator can be any age or sex. There is no one profile.

Teenagers are particularly targeted because of their natural curiosity and growing sexual nature. Predators exploit this.

One of the warning signs your child may be in the throes of being victimized online is that they may become withdrawn from the family.

Online predators will work very hard at driving a wedge between a child and their family.

Predators will accentuate any minor problems at home that your child might have, again befriending them and driving that wedge into the family structure.

Many kids are not aware they are putting themselves in danger by giving out too much personal information and communicating with people they've only met online.

These problems get larger because most kids, especially teenagers, do not inform their parents of online incidents.

Monitor your child when they are online. Sit with them while they surf and play. If you do not sit with them while they are online and your child is pre-teen, consider installing available filters that let you control the sites they can visit.

It is not about mistrust, it's about knowledge. Preteens can accidentally visit a porn site where "cookies" are surreptitiously deposited on your computer. This typically opens the door for SPAM and more unwanted intrusions into your life.

Decide on the time of day, length of time and websites that you child can visit.

Teach your child to treat online contacts just like the strangers they are. Personal information is none of their business!

This includes telephone number, address, parent's work address and telephone number and the name and location of schools.

Make sure you view all correspondence that your child has created prior to agreeing to this type of meeting.

There is no reason today for a picture of your child to be posted on the web for any reason without your permission.

This way, they do not have the ability to send it to anyone. If there really is a need for a photo online of your child, make sure you review the reasons why and carefully weigh the options.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert in northern California. For her extensive website and information see Keeping Kids Safe and get her free online safety report at STOP Predators COLD!
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