Parents Internet Guide - Parental Controls

A Parent's Guide to the Internet and it's Dangers to Children, and Parental Controls software information.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Internet Safety: Part 1 - Warning Signs

Signs That Your Child May Be At Risk Online
  • Your child spends large amounts of time online at night.
  • Reason: Many predators work during the day, thereby spending their evenings online trying to loacte and lure children.
  • You find pornography on your child's computer.
  • Reason: Sex offenders often times supply children with porn in order to open sexual discussions and as a means of seduction. Also child porn may be used to show the victim that sex between children and adults is "normal".
  • Your child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize.
  • Reason: Many sex offenders find talking online to children cumbersome after awhile and prefer to talk to children via the telephone. Often times they will entice them into phone sex and/or make arrangements to meet up for real sex.
  • Your child receives mail, gifts or packages from someone you don't know.
  • Reason: It is common for sex offenders to seduce their victims with letters, photographs and various gifts.
  • Your child turns the monitor off quickly or changes the screen on the monitor when you enter the room.
  • Reason: A child looking at pornographic images or having sexually explicit conversations does not want you to see it on the screen.
  • A child becomes withdrawn from the family.
  • Reason: Computer sex offenders try very hard to build a wall between the victim and his/her family. It is also common for children to become withdrawn after sexual victimization.
  • Your child is using an online account belonging to somebody else.
  • Reason: Even if you don't have Internet service children can meet predators while online at a friend's house or at the library. It is common for computers to come preloaded with Internet software. Sometimes sex offenders will provide potential victims with with a computer account in order to talk with them.

    Check back to see what to do if your child if you suspect your child is communicating with a predator online and ways to help prevent these communications initially.

    This information found at www.fbi.gov/publications.

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