According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, 1 in 7 youth is contacted by an internet predator.
When it comes to keeping your children safe online, communication is key, experts say.
Setting boundaries for social media use and online chats, and talking to your kids about dangers lurking on the internet may be the best way to keep them from falling victim to a predator.
Being able to talk with your children about safe practices and knowing what they’re doing is critical.
TIPS TO KEEP TEEN SAFE FROM ONLINE PREDATORS
- Be smart about what you post on social media and what you say to others. The internet is more public and permanent than it seems.
- Proactive or suggestive names and pictures can draw unwanted attention from strangers.
- Be wary of a person who initiates contact by sending you a compliment or tries to flatter you.
- End contact if a stranger talks to you about sex online or begins asking personal questions.
- Talk to a parent or trusted adult if someone is acting inappropriately with you.
- Be cautious if someone requests meeting you in person. You may think you know them well, but they may be deceiving you. Tell your parents or a trusted adult.
- Know your children’s user names and passwords to all of their devices, apps, email, and social media accounts. Randomly check the accounts. Be upfront with your child about your access and reasons why.
- Talk to your child about potential online dangers and sexual victimization.
- Set rules for computer use for your children; teach them the responsible use of online resources.
- Monitor the amount of time your children spend online. Excessive use, especially late at night, may indicate a problem.