Family safety is a priority for all families. We are exposed to so much more than the children of the 90s and before were exposed to. The internet and mobile phones now make it an incredibly difficult place to live, with the fear that our children may be talking to people that they shouldn’t and being on certain online spaces that are not healthy. Our priority is to keep them safe.
There are a huge number of quality and interesting sites on the net, discussion rooms on intriguing topics, articles, photos, games and many other fun activities. The problem with online activity, as in many other areas, is that it is not always possible to know when children are moving to an activity that may harm them. They may get hold of people’s numbers and start talking to them via the phone. As in any other field in which you accompany your child, and teach them to distinguish between positive activity and negative activity, so too should the Internet be accompanied and explained. Important Note: Collaborating and communicating with your children is one way to learn the field and to get them to understand the problems relating to the internet. Also, supervising children online may be perceived as an invasion of children’s privacy. There are many pros and cons on this issue. However, Internet experts who are aware of the dangers in the field, claim that it is recommended to monitor the children’s activities. If the children get involved with danger, the responsibility of course falls on you – the parents. You can look to the professionals to help, such as using apps that can help you look online to find the information that you need.
What signs should I look out for?
Your child spends a lot of time surfing – especially at night. Most children who fall victim to cybercriminals spend a lot of time surfing, especially in chat rooms. These forums provide visitors with the thrill of conversations with people under anonymity. Although surfing may be a positive experience it is advisable to limit the surfing time. Evening hours are the sexually dangerous hours on the net. Sex offenders take advantage of these free hours to locate and seduce children.
You found disturbing material on your child’s computer – Sex offenders may seduce children by sending pornographic material as a means of opening a conversation on the subject. The pictures are used to show the child that sex between an adult and a child is a normal thing. Parents should be aware that children hide the pornographic material on disks, CDs or under password protection, especially if the computer is used by some members of the household.
They are spending time on the phone to numbers you don’t recognize – Cybercriminals strive to move from the online virtual chat room to a phone call with the child. These conversations are a means of excitement for them. They may suggest that the child make a toll-free call that parents cannot identify – but the offenders can identify the phone number through the child’s home.