Protecting Your Teen From Online Predators
When people think of online predators, the most common thoughts amongst parents are “that’ll never happen to my kid” or “they only go after little kids and I have a teenager”. Unfortunately, far too many of these parents realize that they are wrong the hard way, by having their child fall victim to an online creeper. A recent study now shows that over 75% of the targets for online predators are over the age of 13. Below you will find some helpful tips and tricks to help your teen avoid online predators.
Review Pictures and Videos of your Teen Posts
While this may seem like an invasion of your teenager’s privacy, you are the parent and they are still your child. By reviewing what your teen posts online, you can make sure that it is not provocative or inappropriate. Also, you’ll be able to make sure that they are not including any of their personal information such as your address or phone number.
Take an Interest in your Teens Online Activities
By taking an interest in your teen's online activities you can gain an insight into your teenager's mind. If you’re having difficulty finding common ground with them, you may find something that your teen is viewing online that could bridge the gap between parent and child. In addition to this, you’ll be able to ensure that your teenager is not doing something they should not be doing on the world wide web.
Meeting People you Meet Online
Your child should never meet anyone that they come across online without consent/your attendance. While the internet may help your teen meet other teenagers with similar interests, you can never be sure that people are who they say they are online. Behind a monitor, what appears to be a fellow 14 year old looking for a friend could be a crusty 40-year-old guy looking to prey on your teen.
It is of the utmost importance that you monitor your child’s activity online. Studies show that only 1/3 of parents use filtering or blocking software to protect their children from inappropriate websites. Making sure that your teenager is avoiding harmful sites and chats online can give you a piece of mind when you see them on the computer.