The internet is a great learning platform for kids. Social media platforms have provided children with numerous benefits. They can stay abreast of all the latest news and happenings on these sites as well as keep in touch with their friends. But let’s not forget that the same platforms can pose a huge threat to them.
Now you must be wondering what makes these platforms unsafe and dangerous for your children. We are talking about online threats that lurk on the internet—one of them being cyber predators. Protecting children from cyber predators is unquestionable and this is why the need for monitoring apps and hidden spy apps for Android and iOS devices has increased ever since.
Cyber predators or online predators represent a group of people that create fake profiles on the internet to target young and innocent children as their victims so they can lure them into wrongful activities.
These online predators pretend to be of the children’s age and gain their trust and confidence by engaging them in sweet talk. Usually, after befriending them, they demand inappropriate photos/videos or ask them to meet somewhere outside. These predators can pose a serious threat to your child’s safety and may end up causing great harm to their overall wellbeing.
Tips to Keep Your Children Safe from Cyber Predators
All parents must take notice of cyber predators and must do everything in their capacity to keep their children away from them on the internet. Let us go through some tips to teach your children how to stay safe from these sexual predators online.
Talk to Your Children About Them
Cyber predators often target children who are innocent, lonely, or who have low self-esteem. Children who struggle with thinking and learning differences have problems with their social and academic skills. That’s why it is important to help your children be careful of strangers they meet online.
Tell your children that some online predators are men or women pretending to be of their age. Whereas some may be teenagers or adults. It’s important that you discuss stories about predators with your children who have had trapped the young ones on various social networking or gaming platforms. This will help your children to be wary of them.
Have Discussion About Risky Behavior
Most children using the internet are prone to risky behavior. However, children having difficulty in thinking and learning are more prone to online risks. They would try anything to express their freedom. In fact, they are more likely to be curious about certain topics such as sex or drugs. Therefore, they would try to seek online friends with whom they can have a discussion about such topics.
Being a parent, you must tell your child that it’s completely okay to be curious about such topics. The only thing you need to make them understand is that they should not discuss these topics with strangers online because they could be dangerous.
Tell Them About the Dangers of Chat Rooms
Cyber predators can easily form connections with children through private conversations in online chat rooms. You must ask your children to be careful about chatting in a private chat room because the platform could be full of strangers. They should never engage with a stranger in a private chat because they cannot predict how dangerous that person could be for them.
Young and naïve kids are more vulnerable to the dangers of chat rooms because they may try to look for friendships that they could not find at school. At the same time, they wouldn’t know how to get out of an unsolicited online friendship. Therefore, you must make your children aware of the perils of the online chat rooms so they can stay away from such platforms.
Warn Them About Online Flirting
Online flirting is quite common among teenagers and young adults. They may think of online flirty conversations as something exciting at first but the same can quickly escalate and lead to feeling ashamed, uncomfortable, or misused. You must warn your children about the dangers of online flirting and its consequences.
You must highlight common ways people usually flirt on the internet and explain them to your children. For instance, they need to be careful when people talk to them about what they are wearing or not wearing and discussing celebrities’ personal lives. Cyber predators are looking for children who find pleasure in having an adult talk and exchanging inappropriate content.
You need to help your children understand what behavior is acceptable online and how they should respond to such situations. They could either block flirty people or simply tell their parents that someone is trying to harass them online.
Consider Monitoring Software
No parent would like the idea of spying on their children. However, if you suspect your child is engaging with a cyber predator and someone is trying to take advantage of them, you might want to consider installing monitoring software to keep tabs on their online activity, especially instant messages.
Several iOS and Android spy apps are being used for the same purpose, helping parents monitor their child’s entire online activity and keeping them safe from developing a friendship with a cyber predator.
Maintain an Open and Honest Relationship with Them
You must make it clear to your children that they can come to you at any time if they are facing any problems online. Let them know that they can share anything with you and you won’t get mad at them even if they broke some rule. By forming an open and honest relationship with your children, you can find out everything that has been going on in their online and offline lives.