A child who spends a lot of time online has many chances of being confronted by a predator. They can get connected with people who ask for inappropriate photos or worse. It’s a nightmare for parents to see their children in such a situation. Parents can’t even think about it, but the fact is that it can happen to anyone. It is happening with more children than you might think.
A study says that teens spend nearly nine hours a day using media, and children aged 8 to 12 spend around six hours doing the same. It means our kids remain exposed to social media vulnerabilities for quite a long every day after day. With the expansion of the internet and access to social networking sites for most children, the number of online sex crimes and online predators has also accelerated.
But there’s always a solution to protect your children from online predators. So in this article, we will discuss strategies to keep online predators away from your child. We will also discuss tips for talking to your child about online safety.
What Are Online Predators, And How Do They Work?
Online predators are adult users who target younger or underage children for sexual or other abusive purposes. They use the internet, social media, and communication technologies to locate, target, and victimize adolescents. Some predators try to win the children’s trust and convince them to meet them in person for sexual encounters. This can be destructive to the children’s mental health. It is incredibly dangerous for the kids because they are vulnerable and do not know the true intention of a predator.
Online predators use chat rooms, blogs, dating apps, social networking sites, emails, and other websites to find their targets and get familiar with their hobbies and likings through their profiles. They seduce them through flattery, courtesy, attention, and even with gifts
That is why parents need to know some strategies to help them keep their children safe from online predators. The first is installing the parental control software on your child’s device. This way, you can ensure that your child is not contacting with any online predators. This software allows you to block the person you think is unsuitable for your child. You can also track your children’s Internet usage and stop them from visiting suspicious websites.
What Are The Signs Your Child Is In Contact With A Predator?
Many parents are unaware of the sign of online predators, which is why they cannot protect their children from online predators. Parents must know the signs of online predators so that children can remain safe from online predators. There are a few signs that your children are talking with online predators. For example, if your child suddenly starts spending more time on the internet and tries to hide their conversation from you, it might help if you take a closer look at their activities.
One of the best ways to protect kids from online predators is by restricting their contact with unknown persons. Allow them only to talk with the family members. And make them enjoy spending time with the family. You can also create a secondary social account to keep an eye on them more closely.
Spending More Time Using A Phone Or Computer
Undoubtedly, we all love to use the internet, but our teens’ liking for the internet is more severe. If your kid spends a lot of time using the internet, it does not always mean they are in contact with an online child predator. Still, it increases the possibility that your kid could be exposed to inappropriate content or persons.
Having False Or Secondary Email Or Social Media Accounts
You must be aware of your child’s social media and mailing accounts so you stay updated on your kid’s social media activities and with whom they are connected. For example, if your child has another social media or email account that they do not want to share with you, it is a sign that there is something your kid wants to hide.
Getting Gifts From Unknown Sources
Another red flag is when your child receives gift packages from an unknown source. Predators often act like good people and try to build strong relationships with the targeted person. The often send gifts to the children to win their trust. That is why you should always keep an eye on your children’s packages if they get them from unknown persons.
Strategies To Protect Children From Online Predators
Ensure that your children know they should not share their personal information online with strangers. They should be careful while exposing their name, phone number, addresses, or school name to anyone they do not know personally. Restrict them from accepting requests from unknown people they do not know.
Your child should know how to use the privacy setting on their social media accounts. So that they can hide their address and phone number from their social media accounts, review the privacy setting of your kids again and ask them not to share any information that could identify them, such as their locations and images of themselves.
Remind your kids that many online predators can bully them online by taking their personal information. Inform your kids that they should not believe in “ private chat .”Predator can pose as anyone they want to. So your children will not meet with anyone they know online.
Whether your kid is in contact with an online predator or not, you must take protective steps to ensure your kid’s safety. The given steps can help protect your kid from online child predators.
Place The Computer Somewhere Visible.
Give your kid the computer and internet facility, but remember not to place it in your kids’ private room. Also, pay attention to the use of internet-enabled mobile devices.
Follow Age Restrictions
Some websites and applications do not allow you to use them if you are over 13 or 18 years old. Ensure your kid follows age restrictions and does not use adult apps and sites.
Limit Time Spent Online
Limit and monitor your teens’ time on mobile phones, computers, and the internet. The more time they spend online, the more odds they have of fronting an online predator.
Strengthen Your Relationship
Be the one with whom your child feels comfortable sharing everything. Start asking questions about how they spend their day, what new things they learned, and with whom they met. It will help you to be aware if your child meets someone risky, whether online or offline, you can take defensive steps to ensure their safety.
Use Parental Control Software
Use Parental Control Software It is an excellent way to use parental controls to protect your children from online predators. TheOneSpy provides all the advanced features of parental controls. It allows you to limit your child’s screen time. This parental control software will enable you to set mobile and PC usage limits and block specific websites and apps. These spy apps help you in blocking the websites that could lead your child into contact with an online predator.
The great thing about these applications is that you can monitor almost everything your kid is doing on social media. In addition, you can track the emails received and sent by them using Gmail and get their email keystrokes and password keystrokes.
While installing parental control, it is crucial to understand the features and how the app works. Parental control software gives you additional security measures to ensure your child’s safety. For example, on your child’s devices, you can enable a parental control app to know your child’s live location and who they are meeting with. In case of any danger, it can also notify you so that you can take appropriate action to protect your child from any issue.
It does not matter what type of strategy you use. The critical point is always to keep aware of your child’s online activities and what kind of activities they are engaging with. Always check if your child is having a conversation with any online predator and help them to block that unknown person. Make sure your kid knows online predators and how they can protect themselves from them.
By reading this article, you know the basic things you can do to protect your children from online predators. But remember that it is equally important to keep the line of communication open. Creating a friendly environment allows your children to share everything with you without fear. They can even feel free to share all things happening in their lives, online or offline. So always try to be there for them so they can come to you if something goes wrong with them.