5 Tips To Protect Your Child From Online Sexual Predators

Are you concerned about online sexual predators taking
advantage of your child?

Every family should be concerned about online sexual
predators as these predators are increasing in numbers on
the Internet.

Statistics indicate that one out of every five children, at
the very least, will be exposed to an online predator or
some sort of offensive material.

Most parents are likely already aware of online sexual
predators.  It seems that every week, another young person
has become another victim while innocently being online. It
is also a known fact that children, specifically
adolescents, are at a very high risk of being preyed upon

If you have seen the NBC Dateline segment where online
predators are being caught left and right, then you know
that this is a serious issue for all parents.  Online
predators do not fit any certain mold, if you will.

While watching this program, I saw some very professional
men being arrested after inappropriately communicating on
the Internet with what they thought was a child.  They came
from all walks of life.  There were men from the military,
engineers, and even a doctor and a rabbi that were arrested.

All of these men showed up at a "staged" setting where the
young girl was waiting at her house, just waiting for the
predator to show up, after engaging in an online chat room

While there have been a couple of hundred potential
predators that were arrested in this sting operation, there
are still many more predators that go undetected and never
get caught.  This has to stop and it is such a scary
thought to even think about.  We all have to try and do
more to protect our kids.

Many adolescents find themselves in a very dangerous
situation when they innocently were online chatting with
what they thought was another adolescent.

It seems all too common these days when another child has
been victimized by a sexual predator. Worse yet, some are
kidnapped and murdered, following online activity that a
child so innocently became involved with.

Kids may feel that they can trust others on the Internet
and may not realize any of the many dangers that predators

We as parents need to take extra measures to help protect
our kids.  The question still remains the same though.
What else can we do to better protect our children from
online predators?

Parents understand all of these dangers of online predators
and certainly try to do their part at monitoring online

Most parents admittedly feel that their efforts probably
are not enough to completely protect their children and
wonder what else they can do to get that extra "piece of
mind" we all want to have.  The statistics just seem to get
worse, however.

Some parents may not be aware of the simple tips that they
can use to help protect their children from these sexual
predators.  While you probably don't want to place your
child in a paper bag, you certainly do not want to ban them
from all of their social networking, such as MySpace.

The bad thing about these social networking sites is that
they are the perfect target for online predators to
congregate.  In addition, sites such as these provide a lot
of personal information that is very accessible to the
wrong kind of people.

Things such as pictures and specific information about your
child's identity should not be visible as it can be very
risky, to say the least.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do as a parent
to help protect your children when they are online.

Here are 5 tips to help protect your children from online

1. Talk to your child about online predators.  Inform them
about the potential serious dangers of online predators.
Many kids are naive about online relationships and don't
fully understand the risks.

2. Seriously consider prohibiting your child from using
chat rooms.  Predators love chat rooms!  These predators
may pose as a child themselves to gain access to your child.

3. If you do allow your child to use chat rooms, closely
monitor their activity at all times and leave the computer
in an accessible room to everyone. Never allow your child
to have his/her own computer in their own bedroom.

4. Pay close attention to your child's behavior.  If
something doesn't seem quite right, ask MORE questions and
always know exactly where they are going when leaving the

5. Set computer guidelines for your child such as requiring
permission to download anything!  Predators have a habit of
sending sexually explicit material.
About the Author:

Cecilia Valenzuela is an advocate for keeping children
safe. Valenzuela is a full-time translator and part-time
teacher and has volunteered many hours of her personal time
with children.  You can find out more at

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