Thanks to the news, every parent is sufficiently freaked out about their child encountering an online predator. While the reality is that your child will likely never come across one, it’s never a bad idea to prepare them in case the situation arises.
Your child can easily avoid encounters with online predators if you educate them on the dangers of predators and what to do if they are contacted by one.
Teach Your Child How To Avoid Online Predators
- Teach them “stranger danger” online. Just like you would teach your child to avoid strangers when in public, teach them to be cautious about who they allow to follow or friend them online. If they don’t know the person in real life, they shouldn’t allow the person to contact them.
- Explain why it’s dangerous to Share personal information. Teach your child to avoid posting or otherwise sharing personal information, especially about where they live. This includes photos with recognizable features or landmarks such as a street sign or well-known park. Even a picture of a pet where their collar tag is legible can help a predator narrow in on your child’s location.
- Help them identify grooming tactics. Grooming involves predators using kind words and actions to gain the trust and affection of their victim. Grooming might include anything from words of affirmation to sending gifts to the child. Help your child understand that if a stranger is contacting them, regardless of how nice the person may seem, they need to tell you about it immediately. Adult males usually attempt to lure young girls into participating in sexual activity through grooming so make sure you are involved in your child’s online activity and have prepared them for the dangers they may face.
How To Protect Your Child From Online Predators
In addition to educating your child about online predators, there are other precautions you can take to protect your child using features built into the technology you have:
- Set parental restrictions. For their protection, consider getting your child a kid-friendly smartphone from Troomi. These phones are set with limited social media access to prevent your child from having unrestricted online communications through their various parental controls.
- Use GPS tracking. Child-safe phones offer a tracking feature so you can make sure your child is staying safe. While it’s unlikely that your child would meet up with a stranger, 4% of interactions between predators and their victims involve aggressive solicitations, including attempts to convince the victim to meet in person. In such situations, smartphones with a tracking device can help you locate your child and protect them from harm.
It’s difficult not to worry about the dangers of online predators. However scary it may seem, with the right tools and skills, you can keep your child safe. As you educate your child about the dangers and tactics of online child predators, they will be able to spot a dangerous situation if they see one.
By investing in tools such as Troomi phones with limited access options for internet and social media, you can help protect your child from online predators. You might not have complete control over what your child does on the Internet, but you can take these precautionary measures and help them develop skills they can use to protect them now and for years to come.