Computer Online Lure
Over 25 million American kids are now online. While the Internet abounds with wonderful
learning and communication opportunities, it also provides criminals with unlimited
possibilities. Pedophiles visit Internet chat rooms and websites in search of lonely,
rebellious, trusting or adventurous youngsters.
Given the anonymous nature of chat rooms and e-mail, predators can pretend to be
any age or gender. This makes is easier to obtain information like a child's real
name, where they live/work, what school they attend, even personal details about
their family. Usually, the ultimate objective is to arrange a face-to-face meeting.
The Internet Predator may expose youngsters to messages or images with adult content,
but he becomes a true threat if he succeeds in learning a
child's name, address or other personal information or he manages to arrange a private,
in-person meeting with the youngster. Kids who have agreed to such meetings have
been robbed, beaten, raped - and worse.
Remind your children that things are not always what they seem on the "Net." Discuss
current news stories concerning Internet crime with your child to reinforce that
precautions must be taken while online.
Familiarize yourself with the Internet and e-mail. Supervise youngsters online,
much as you censor what they watch on television, video or DVD. If your child's
friends have Internet/e-mail access at home, encourage their parents to supervise
online time as well.
Situate computers in high visibility areas of your home - the kitchen or family
room - and view the screen at regular intervals. Be alert to the use of Secretive
Software exists to restrict children's access to inappropriate areas of the Internet,
but don't underestimate your child's ability to bypass these controls!
Kids of all ages pride themselves on getting around them.