Over the past several years online predators have been a growing concern as the number of young students involved in online chat continually increases. It has already happened in this community. Below are tips to prevent this from happening to your child.
- Never put a computer in a child's bedroom
- Never allow a child on the computer in the afternoon without an adult in the house
- Stay out of chat rooms
- Adults should control passwords and sign the kids on yourself, especially with young children
- Don't allow children to post personal information in profiles or web pages
- Be nosey, know the people your children are chatting with and review their profiles and web pages
- The most dangerous times for a child to be online is from 2-5pm. Most offenders solicit children from work, not from their homes.
- Web cams can be very dangerous. If you or your child accept a web cam invitation from someone, make sure it is someone they know very well. They can attach a virus, which allows them to activate your web cam at anytime without your knowledge.
- Offenders target children with low self-esteem, who have difficulty developing relationships with their peers for whatever reasons, and have little relationship with parents.
Parents, talk to your children about messages they may receive. Encourage them to report threats, inappropriate chat or invitations to meet immediately. Contact police with issues and save the information you have rather than canceling screens or deleting emails. Contact your local police agency with questions and concerns.