Keep Kids Safe Online
While the internet is a great place for kids to learn, watch funny videos and catch up with friends, it can also be dangerous because of child predators. The FBI offers guidelines on what to look out for if you think your child might be at risk for a child predator’s unwanted advances:
- Monitor the amount of time your child spends on the computer. Staying up late after school or on the weekends might put them at higher risk of talking to strangers or participating in sexually explicit online activities.
- If your child quickly shuts off the monitor or changes their screen when you walk into the room, they might be trying to hide something from you.
- Sexual predators may try to reach your child through other means. If your child is receiving packages from someone you don’t know, or making phone calls to long distance numbers, check with them to see who they are from.
- Look out for special abbreviations your child might use while you are in the room. Some examples include: PAW or PRW: Parents are watching, PIR: Parents in room, POS: Parent over shoulder, (L)MIRL: (Let’s) meet in real life.
If you suspect your child is communicating with a sexual predator online, talk openly with them about your suspicions and explain to them the dangers of computer-sex offenders. The FBI also suggests checking out their computer for any signs that they are involved in a dangerous activity or relationship.