Reasons for Online Safety
We deliver reasons and resources to help keep your family safe online.
… Internet Predator Stereotype Debunked …
In a recent study prepared by the American Psychological Association suggests that teenagers are willingly chatting with adults. Contrary to the popular belief that the teens were being deceived into thinking they were chatting with kids their own age. This is disconcerting because it means that kids are openly chatting to adult strangers about their personal curiosities. The Internet predators gain the trust of children and the children see it as an adventure until the meeting occurs and they are sometimes forced into doing something they do not necessarily intend to go through with. Kids are naive and curious when it comes to their sexual desires. Internet Predators know this fact all to well and they thrive on the vulnerability. The bottom line is that teenagers are knowingly chatting with adults and they need to be protected from their own behaviors. I guess that is where parenting comes into the picture. .
… Highlights of the Study …
Internet offenders pretended to be teenagers in only 5 percent of the crimes studied by researchers.
Nearly 75 percent of victims who met offenders face-to-face did so more than once.
Online sex offenders are seldom violent, and cases involving stalking or abduction are very rare.
Youth who engaged in four or more risky online behaviors were much more likely to report receiving online sexual solicitations. The online risky behaviors included maintaining buddy lists that included strangers, discussing sex online with people they did not know in person and being rude or nasty online.
Boys who are gay or are questioning their sexuality may be more susceptible to Internet-initiated sex crimes than other populations. Researchers found boys were the victims in nearly one-quarter of criminal cases, and most cases included facts that suggested victims were gay or questioning their sexuality.
… Reinforcement to the Study …
In a news story about a Hawkins Teen that Calls a 33-Year-Old Man She Met On MySpace, the girl stated that she had been speaking to a 33-year-old man on the Internet who said he was a truck driver. The man gave his phone number to the girl via e-mail. She had met the man on chat for teens. Luckily, her father found out about the phone calls, called the man, and told him not to speak to his daughter again. You have to wonder what would have happened if the father did not find out about the phone calls.
Keeping the Kids Safe
Parents really need to impress upon their children not to give out information of any type on the Internet, but especially not information that can identify them or locate them. Obviously if they’re e-mailing a friend or someone they know, that’s one thing. But when they get online in these chat rooms, you have no way of knowing who’s on the other keyboard.
Online Safety Tips
Take a look at what is on your teenagers computer. If you are not sure how to do this, ask for help from someone that may know how.
Talk openly with your child about the reality of the dangers that they may encounter while in chat rooms or social networking sites like MySpace. and Facebook
Internet Predators almost always have initial contact through chat rooms of some sort. The communication may lead to other venues like email or sexting on cell phones. Monitor both.
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See More Reasons to Monitor Internet Use