Things to Remember
Here are a few things to remember about cyber predators from the Parenting in a Digital Age presentation:
- Predators typically target boys and girls between the ages of 11-15
- They will often chat with your child through gaming (easy to initiate conversation because they already have something in common) or chat rooms.
- Their intention is to become friends with your child and gain their trust.
- Once the friendship and trust is gained, they will look for their opportunity. This might be getting your child to send them something they can use against them as blackmail, or look for an opportunity to meet up.
- The predators will often try to put a wedge between the child and the parent. The predator wants the child to think they are the only ones that really get them and care about them.
- When the predator is trying to become friends with your child, this is called the “grooming process.” This is a long process that can take weeks, months, or even years.
- One in five teens will be solicited by an online predator
Want to learn more about online predators? Here is a great article about online predators.
What Can Parents Do?
- Open door policy at home. No devices behind closed doors
- Always have access (ability to unlock) your child’s devices (computer, tablet, phone, etc.)
- No phones in bedrooms at night. Instead have a central charging station at night.
- Constant communication with your child about who they are talking to or gaming with online.
- Monitoring your child gaming or social media app use