By protecting their personal information and being cautious about what they view, families can reduce their risks.
Computers are wonderful learning tools, but they can also expose children to dangers like unwanted content and inappropriate contact from adults through the Internet. Teens are asserting their independence and learning to make their own decisions.
Like the world itself, the online world is both wonderful and occasionally dangerous. Get them to show you what they do on the computer, and the websites they visit. Unfortunately some young people misuse this technology. Adults who want to exploit children use these calls to learn more about the children they are pursuing.
If your child receives invitations for sexual acts or unsolicited obscene material over the Internet, you can report it by calling THE-LOST or by visiting the CyberTipline. If you decide to let your child have an online profile or personal webyour decision should be based on their age and maturity.
Talk to them about how to handle those requests.
Fear of losing their Internet access, mobile phone or gaming device keeps most children from telling their parents when they encounter something online that makes them uncomfortable. Adults who are seeking to exploit children work hard to drive a wedge between and their family.
Using the computer is a privilege. When possible, have your family computer rules in place before your children begin using the computer. Some inappropriate photos are taken for a current boyfriend or girlfriend, or to attract the attention of another young person.
Use -friendly search engine to help them avoid inappropriate search. Young people often act on impulse. If you decide your teen is old enough to a social networking site or have a personal webhelp them develop good standards for online behavior. Place your computer in a central room of the house with the screen facing out so you can see it easily. Child predators have been known to provide toll-free s so potential victims can call without their parents finding out.
If someone threatens your child with violence, contact law enforcement immediately. An adult who is looking for a young person to exploit will be drawn to a profile with entries or photos that show an interest in sex. If your child is being threatened or harassed online, you may want to contact one or more of the following:.
Adults who want to exploit young people look for teens whose online profile or posts indicate an interest in sex and teens who show a willingness to talk about sex online. Ask your child to tell you when anything questionable happens to them online.
Young people want to be treated as adults and may feel entitled to privacy. Privacy features are a key element of safe social networking. Encourage them to tell you when:. If so, let the SRO know about the harassment or threats. Producing, possessing or distributing the photo could lead to criminal charges regardless of the original intent of the photographer.
What to do. If the cause of their discomfort was inappropriate content or abuse online, report it to the site immediately. In some instances young people have been pressured or tricked into taking inappropriate pictures by another young person or an adult.
Teach children never to click on a link in an unsolicitedand to close out of inappropriate content quickly.
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When it is time for them to learn how to use the Internet safely, take time to talk to your children about:. Parents, educators and caregivers can limit the danger and protect kids on the internet. They can be altered and misused, and remain in circulation forever.
Make sure your teen understands that the things they post online can easily end up being seen by people they never intended, no matter their privacy settings. Make a point to sit with your children and see the sites they like to visit and the things they like to share online. Your settings or instant messaging software may allow you to block further messages from the sender. Remind them that you have more experience dealing with the world. Any problem that a young person has at home can be manipulated to make that child feel isolated from his or her loved ones.
Many experts believe the dangers and risks of webcam misuse outweigh any potential benefits for young people. Facebook and Twitter, two of the most popular sites, ban youngsters under the age of Remember, young users of social networking sites could be exposed to adult content.
It is a violation of federal law to knowingly send or attempt to send obscene material to under the age of Parents and friends can watch for warning s that is at risk of being exposed to the wrong people or content.
Regardless of how or why it is created, once a digital image has been shared via any electronic media it is virtually impossible to retrieve. Parents who decide to let their child a social networking site should learn how to make it a safer experience. They feel anonymous, and sometimes take risks. Information in a screen names can be used to identify. If you allow your teen to a site, make sure they use the available privacy features. In order to enjoy this privilege and use the computer, we agree to follow these rules:. In addition to misusing still photography, young people sometimes misuse webcams to transmit sexual images of themselves.instant messages, texts… all of these can be used by young people to communicate immediately and secretly.
Children need to understand that real world rules and values apply on the Internet as they do in real life.
Sexual material can appear in searchor arrive by unsolicitedknown as spam, as an attachment or link. Some online entities offer free services, so s can be created quickly and without cost. looking at pornographic images or having sexually explicit conversations does not want you to see it on the screen.
You might want to consider:. Computers make it easy to send and share photographs, but it should be done carefully. Some teens may need to hear in no uncertain terms that it is illegal and dangerous for a young person to have sex with an adult.
You can minimize the risk of a young person meeting an online predator with some simple steps:. Social networking sites often make changes to their privacy settings, so check frequently for changes or updates to the settings. Most importantly, make sure your child knows to talk to you or another trusted adult if something happens to them online or in real life that makes them uncomfortable.
Your children must understand that just as you decide which movies they are allowed to see, you will supervise their online activities.
Talk to your teen about what kind of information is appropriate to share online. Youngsters also use abbreviations to save keystrokes and keep parents in the dark. With teenagers, strive to keep the lines of communication open. Parents should monitor the use of digital cameras, cameraphones and webcams, which can be misused by young people. Children need to understand that other people can also pretend to be someone else while online, and sometimes they do it to hurt people. Child predators can be online at any time, but most work during the day and spend their evenings online trying to strike up conversations with young people.
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Develop a list of family rules for using the Internet and post it next to the computer. Most online activity is harmless or even positive for young people. After a teenage couple breaks up, the sexual photos may be shared and circulate widely throughout a school or peer group.
Young people sometimes seek out sexual material online, but some encounter inappropriate material unintentionally. Make it clear to your children that you are in charge. If you think a site or a posting is inappropriate, explain why. Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Many children like to pretend to be someone else while online. Children find it easier to accept and obey rules that have already been established.
Protect kids on the internet
If your school does not have an SRO, contact local law enforcement. However, experts say parents need to know what their children are doing online. Adults who are seeking to exploit children often supply potential victims with pornography as a means of opening sexual discussions and for seduction. Like adults, young people should protect their privacy and practice good behavior online.
Adults who want to exploit young people look for racy photos and postings. If a photo shows a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct it may be treated as child pornography by law enforcement. These online behaviors are much more likely to lead to sexual solicitation than posting personal information online. A sexy profile and a willingness to talk about sex online with strangers are warning s that require parental action.
Nude or suggestive photos are routinely posted, traded, and sold. The Internet is home to many images that are inappropriate for children. If your child is using an other than the one you may have authorized, he or she may be communicating with someone who wants to keep the relationship secret. Children under the influence of a predator may pull away from their families and may also become withdrawn after they have been victimized sexually.
Digital cameras and cell phone cameras have made it easy to take photographs.
When turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor, they are attempting to conceal something. Parents and guardians should exercise control over digital cameras, camera phones and webcams to make sure they are being used appropriately. In addition, there are some extra precautions parents should take with their children to reduce risks. It is normal for them to be interested in love and romance, and to seek adventure.