When children go online, they have direct and immediate access to friends, family, and complete strangers, which can put unsuspecting children at great risk. Children who meet and communicate with strangers online are easy prey for internet predators.
June is National Internet Safety Awareness Month. All month, we will share ideas on how to keep the internet a safe resource for you and your family. See other articles about online safety.
Predators have easy and anonymous access to children online where they can conceal their identity and roam without limit. Often, we have an image of sexual predators lurking around school playgrounds or hiding behind bushes scoping out their potential victims, but the reality is that today’s sexual predators search for victims while hiding behind a computer screen, taking advantage of the anonymity the Internet offers.
- Download the Internet Safety 101 Safety Guide
- Visit KidGuard’s Parents’ Guide to Preventing Child Abduction, Kidnapping, and Missing Children
You may find the following resources from Internet Safety 101 helpful:
- Predators’ Access to Kids
- Profile of A Predator
- Warning Signs
- Advice to Parents
- Youth Risky Behavior
- Report Cybercrime
- Sex Trafficking
- Helpful Parent’s Guides
Putting Child Sexual Abuse in Context
Research indicates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually victimized before adulthood. Sadly, 30-40% of these victims are abused by a family member and 50% are abused by someone outside the family whom they know and trust.
Although the majority of child sexual abuse does not occur online, the internet can be a place where predators make contact with children. The internet also fuels pedophiles by providing easy access to child pornography.
Do you have a helpful tip or experience that you would like to share with other parents? Enter a comment below.