Social networking has become increasingly popular and websites like Myspace have thrived with adolescents and teens. While pedophiles may be the minority on these sites, the threat of having a pedophile enter your home, under the guise of being someone their not, is just too big of a threat to ignore.
It may seem harmless enough, at first glance. I mean, what do other web surfers really know about your child? They might even live half a world away. How could they possibly harm your child? Perhaps you might even see the educational value of your child interacting with individuals from other cultures and understanding the global nature of today’s world, but consider this…
Children online don’t feel that these “friends” are strangers. They “chat”link angkasa338 with them daily. These people, who parents consider strangers, are their friends. They understand what the child is going through and they listen in ways the parents never seem to. The recent riveting testimony of a young boy that was drawn into online pornography at the age of 13, should be a wake up call to all parents. Computers and the Internet can be far more dangerous than most parents ever imagine. The likelihood of a child online will encounter strangers is far higher than a stranger wandering into their backyard.
Parents warn their children about strangers as they grow up, perhaps its time to redefine the term stranger. Consider the following to protect your child, adolescent, or teenager while online.
Do not allow your children to use a webcam unsupervised. Children will often forget that the webcams are there or even worse, what may seem harmless online flirting might result in unwarranted or undesired attention from an anonymous predator. Additionally, webcams have been tied to home robberies where burglars viewed items of interest through a webcam. A little online digging resulted in the home address, and items were then stolen.
2. Common Area.
In spite of an adolescents or a teenagers need for privacy, it is best to keep the computer in a family common area. It might be helpful to explain to your child why it is important that computers be out in the open. Children should understand that using a computer is not a right, is a privilege. Parents can and should supervise online activity.
3. Personal Information.
Personal information is just that, personal, and should not be shared by children. As easy as that is to say, sometimes children are often confused as to what constitutes personal information. Educating children about what personal information is, is just as important as educating them as telling them not to share. Children need to understand that just because someone asks for personal information doesn’t mean you have to tell them.…