Each year there are thousands of children who become victims of cyberspace predators. Most of these children go against rules they’ve been given by their parents. However, some of them are simply unaware of the risks associated with online activity.
Parents should use these tips to help protect their children from online predators:
1. Be Secretive: You should teach your children to never give out any personal information (name, address, school, hobbies) to people they chat with online. Professional predators are extremely good at taking small clues and figuring out the rest. Thus, even if a child tells a predator where they play baseball the predator may be able to use that information to eventually figure out who the child is.
2. Forbid Chatting: Many kids love the idea of being able to chat with their friends online. However, parents who are especially concerned about cyberspace predators should think about forbidding online chat. With cell phone text messaging being much safer, it could be an alternative to chat rooms or instant messaging for teens and older children.
3. Mix Up Timing: Limiting your child’s time online is wise. However, if you tell your child they can get online at 4pm each day, you may be setting them up for added risks. Be sure to always switch up the time a child can get online, without telling them. Therefore, they can’t inform others of when they’ll exactly be online and their risk of making bonds with strangers will be less likely.