Internet Predator Chat Nightmares
It is easy to think of pedophiles loitering in playgrounds
and other places children play but because of the way the Internet
works, children can easily be interacting on their home computers
with predators posing as children. Internet users enjoy anonymity
and that is something that predators crave. A child does not always
know who they are chatting with and that is why Internet chat can
be so dangerous.
Internet chat rooms are not a safe place for an unprotected
child to be. The Internet is full of online predators grooming children
in Internet chat rooms or social networks like myspace.com. The
kids need to be protected on the Internet just like they are protected
in real life. Imagine watching a scenario like this; there is a
dirty old man behind the bushes trying to get a child to come into
the bushes with him by pretending that he is the same age and that
he is good friend. But we know better. We know we have to stop him
from going into the bushes because we know that if he goes in there,
he will probably never be seen again. We feel powerless to help.
It's like being stuck in a nightmare isn't it?
In reality we are not powerless to help. The dirty
old man represents the Internet predators that hang in online chat
rooms or Instant Messaging program chats and social networks. There
are many forms of chat programs. There is the Facebook chat, AOL Messenger, MSN
Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo Chat, just to name a few. Of course, the social network sites like MySpace and Facebook offer the Internet Predators a glimpse inside the life of a child making those sites particularly
dangerous. There are Internet use monitoring programs available that will exclusively monitor MySpace activity. There are many more
questionable online chat sites out there that would not be the safest
place for a child on the Internet. Do you know who your kids are
chatting to when they are online?
Instant Messaging in general is not a bad thing. Kids and adults
alike have instant access to all of their friends and coworkers
that are online. Any number of things could happen that could turn
IM into a nightmare. A person can get addicted or infatuated with
it and spend all of their time, your time if you are an employer,
chatting with people all over the world.
The worst thing that could happen is that a child gets involved
with someone who they think is their friend and starts violating
every rule that there is in the Internet Safety Contract. There is a very interesting scenario
you can read here and I received an email
a while back that is a real thought provoker if you want to take
a look at it you could read it here. This
is where the trouble starts, real trouble. Your child could be thinking
that they are chatting with a friend that is their own age but in
reality they could be chatting with a 50 year old man that just
wants to find out where they live so that he can come and abduct
them. You need to keep your kids safe on the Internet.
The Online Safety Site has a chat
example that shows you just what your kids can get involved
with while chatting. Warning: Not for everyone!
Check out the News Page for some recent nightmare
stories. Internet chat nightmares seem to happen almost daily.
There are too many Internet predators prowling around masquerading
as teenagers to trust your children to be alone in a chat room.
The best thing to do to protect your children is to get the computer
out of their bedroom. It should be kept in an area where their activity
can be monitored. Just remember that there are certain places where
kids should not be unsupervised; bars, nightclubs, construction
zones, the middle of a busy superhighway and the middle of the busy
Internet. Keep your kids safe on the Internet, don' t let the Internet
become a nightmare.
Here are some basic rules that everybody should
use while chatting on the internet:
1. Never give out your last name
2. Never put your age as part of your nick e.g. Sameer14
3. Never give away your address, not even the town where you live
4. Never give anyone your phone number or agree to phone them
5. Be very careful of people who ask you your age just after youve
6. Dont accept files from people who you dont know
7. Dont give your picture to people who you dont know
8. Never agree to meet anyone youve met on chat unless you
go with an adult you trust like your mom or dad
9. If anyone makes you feel scared tell one of the ops - the guys
with the @ in front of their nicksname, or may be the moderator.
The solution, which can't be stressed enough, is
to spend time with your child. Make sure they know how important
it is to not give out any personal information while they are
in an online chat. Also, you really need to know what they are
doing on the Internet at all times. Keep the computer in the dining
room or living room, someplace where you can see what they are
doing. If you don't like how it looks, then dress it it up with
a nice screensaver. Check on them
while they are chatting and ask them who is on their "buddy"
list. If they don't know or won't tell you then there may be a
problem. If knowing what they are doing all the time isn't possible
for some reason then you may need a Chat
monitoring program to help.
After you have found a way to monitor the chat, you may find another
nightmare. You won't be able to understand what they are chatting.
They type in another language it seems. Everything is like a code
or abbreviated. I have created a Chat
Dictionary and a list of some of the more commonly used Emoticons to aid you in deciphering this new language.
If, after you have installed one of the computer
monitoring programs, you find that your child is a victim of some
sort of child sexual exploitation, you can file a report at the The National Center for
Missing & Exploited Children Lets all help keep the kids
safe on the Internet.
Computer filtering and monitoring programs offer a lot useful
assistance to parents who simply cannot always be there watching
what their children are doing. But a monitoring program is just a tool. It is not a babysitter,
and it is also very important that parents realize that NONE of
the programs are foolproof. They are no substitute for active
and concerned parental involvement in your child's online activities.
One way or another you just have to know what is happening on
the computer to keep your kids safe on the Internet. The consequence
of not knowing may be your worst nightmare coming true.
Highlights of some of the Internet Predator News Arcives from 2014