Children and the Internet
Some quick facts:
1 in 5 children between the ages 10-17 have been sexually solicited online. In 15% of those cases, the predator attempted to meet the child in person.
89% of sexual solicitations of kids were made in chat rooms or Instant Messages.
1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys were sexually exploited before they reach adulthood.
How can you protect your child?
- Supervise your child’s online activities
- Access your child’s online accounts including text messages, emails, and social networking apps.
- Have ongoing conversations with your child regarding internet safety and appropriate online interactions
- Talk with your child about the potential dangers of Internet activities. Tell them you have a responsibility to monitor their Internet use and will check their accounts periodically.
- Spend time with your child online. Have them teach you about their favorite websites.
- Keep the computer in a common room in your home, and set time limits for its use.
- Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. Make sure they know what sites they are not allowed to visit.
- Install an operating system that makes you the administrator of the family computer. This allows you to set what content can be viewed online, and software that can be installed.
- Tell your children to let you know immediately if a stranger tries to make contact with them on the web.
- Make sure your child knows what online activities are against the law. Illegal activities include making threats against someone else online, hacking, downloading pirated software, creating bootlegged software, sharing music files online, and for children under age 18, making online purchases.
- Go online with your kids and find out who they send Instant Messages to and/or chat with.
- Instruct your children: a. To never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online; b. To never upload or post pictures of themselves onto the internet or online service to people they do not personally know; c. To never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number; d. To never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit photos; e. To never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing; f. That whatever they are told on-line may or may not be true.