While it may be tempting to restrict your childs or teen’s Internet access to such an extent as to be virtually non-existent, it is important to realize that sooner or later the minor will have access to the Net. Just like it would be humorous to suggest that your child not be allowed to date until you are dead â€“ although that is a favorite saying of many a parent â€“ the failure of parents to prepare their children for the wide world away from parental control and supervision in many ways leads to risky behavior that may have far reaching consequences.
A parent’s guide to Myspace and Internet Safety
requires the parent to be aware of the dangers currently lurking online. Visit your local police department’s website to learn what the latest scams and schemes of online predators are. Some law enforcement agencies will actually publish their own parentâ€™s guide to MySpace and Internet Safety and you will be wise to download a copy and read it through.
Once you are familiar with the online modus operandi of the predators on the lookout for vulnerable minors, honestly assess your child’s weaknesses and see if there are any open for exploitation online. Maybe your child is a horse aficionado and thus the lure of seeing some great photos will cause her to disable the parental lockout. Conversely, your son might be a role playing fiend, and thus any online contact who also proclaims this affinity will become a fast friend, confidante, and perhaps suggest a personal meeting for a game outing.
It is hard to come face to face with your childâ€™s weaknesses that make them ready fodder for a predator, yet if you fail to take this step and help your child to build up defenses, the only other person looking for these weaknesses is a possible criminal whose only intent will be the harm of your child. No parentâ€™s guide to child’s online safety would be complete without the warning to be on the lookout for potential character traits that might be exploited!