|In the book I analyze the kids
of things pedophiles look for in spotting they prey online. I also noted
how they typically try to lure your children into trusting them.
There are a few things a parent should note:
- Pedophiles prey on the new, inexperienced kids online. The more your
children display cyber-smarts, the less likely they will appeal to a
predator online. Before your children wander around online unattended,
surf with them. If you're new online too, find some helpful sites to
get you up to speed fast.
- Pedophiles look for loners. Many parents buy their children a computer
because they don't have many real life friends. These kids are easier
prey, since it's less likely they'll talk about the overtures to their
friends, and they are more susceptible to someone trying to befriend
them. They're lonely, and the pedophile poses as a much-needed friend.
- Pedophiles look for kids who are having problems at home. They too
are easier prey, since they are looking for a sympathetic ear. The pedophile
tries to win the child over by further separating the child from their
family, complaining about "parents" generally.
There are a few tips that can help keep your child safe online.
- Keep the computer in a central family location, not in the child's
room. The computer shouldn't be an escape for the child, but a family
- Get to know your children's online friends. You wouldn't let them
spend lots of time with a new friend in the neighborhood until you've
met them and know about them, online friends are no different.
- Screen e-mail with all younger children. Many pedophiles attach child
pornography to e-mails sent to children. The child pornography is used
to convince the child that other children are performing sexual acts.
Make sure you screen all attachments or limit e-mail through parental
control features or software.
- Help your children keep computing online in balance. Too many children
get compulsive about computing and forget to play with real friends
and never play outdoors in physical activity. Help them find a healthy
- If you can't be home with them when they're online, use child protection
software to help keep an eye on them. Some software keeps them from
sharing personal information with others online, like their names, addresses
and telephone numbers.
- Make sure they understand that they should never meet anyone in real
life that they met online without parents in attendance, and that people
online are often not honest about who or what they are.