In 2002 Alicia Kozakiewicz was walking on the street when she heard her name and the next thing she remembered was being held tight and forced into a car. The person who held her captive was a boy who managed to gain her trust, confidence, and love online through chatting for eight months. That boy was Scoot Tyree, online child predators, convicted felon and an accused sadist. Alicia was driven to a home where she was kept in a basement and repeatedly raped, tortured and beaten. She was later rescued by the FBI.
Online predators basically adults online whose aim is to exploit kids who are vulnerable for abusive or sexual purposes. According to statistics, there are over 5,000,000 predators on the Internet, and these predators are always online, and SpyHide parental control app is just the app to use in protecting your kids from online child predators.
Another victim is Katy. She was 12 years old when she first met an online predator who ‘claimed’ he was 16. He capitalized on her vulnerability of needing someone to console her and talk to after the death of a family member. Soon a relationship developed. He sent her a camera to take pictures of herself and send them to him. Luckily, her mom found the pictures. Her mother, Shari confronted this predator and warned him not to contact her daughter again. A year and a half later, they learned that he was actually a middle-aged man who was a sexual predator and had been in contact with several children.
The above are just but 2 incidents out of many. These predators ‘feed’ on kids who are:
- actively seeking attention or affection
- isolated or lonely
- new to online activities
- confused regarding sexual identity
online child predators slowly target their victims via attention and kindness. They spend a large amount of time listening to these kids, showing interest in hobbies and the kind of music they like. They are very sly in their dealings and gradually start showing sexually explicit contents to them.
They thrive best in online chat rooms, forums, and instant messaging to locate and communicate with kids. online child predators are usually between the ages of 18-55 years and predominantly males.
How to prevent online child predators from your kids
Parents and guardians should get involved in their kids’ online lives. They should talk to their kids about potential online dangers and online predators.
If the kids are old enough or are already in chat rooms, they should be educated on how well they should use the chat rooms. They should never engage in private chats. Should always stay in the public chats rooms. This enables the moderators of these chat rooms to flag out any indecent advances. If the kids are not old enough, then the answer is no chat rooms for them.
The use of SpyHide parental control app will be very beneficial. Hence if any online predator is targeting your kid, you will know and stop it before it harms them.
You also get to see new contacts added to your kid’s phone book, call logs details – that is if they have started receiving calls from strange numbers. Because most of the times online predators do talk to their targets on phones too.
The GPS location and Geofencing features alert you of unusual routes taken by your kid. You receive detailed reports on route history and you can set boundaries of where you kid should be and the prohibited ones.
All these features the SpyHide parental control helps shield your kids from these heartless online child predators. Do not let your beloved ones be a victim to any online predator.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your kids from online predators. Here are some of them:
- Talk to your kids about sexual predators and explain about potential online dangers. Explain about the grooming process and warn them about some of the tactics an online predator may use.
- Install parental control software. SpyHide can identify and block harmful content in chats, forums and other internet communication tools (or just alert you about them, if you so choose).
Don’t forget to inform your children that you have done this. Explain to them that you are not spying on them – you are keeping them safe!!
- Place the computer in a family room or somewhere visible (not in your child’s bedroom). But remember that your children have other means of accessing the Internet and communicating with potential predators. Pay attention to other computer and Internet-enabled mobile devices.
- Most social networking sites require that users be age 13 and over. Make sure your kids follow these age restrictions.
- Limit and monitor the amount of time your children spend on the Internet, and at what times of day.Too much time online, especially at night, may be a sign of a problem.
- Make sure you follow these rules of thumb for chat rooms:
- Young children should not be allowed to use chat rooms at all.
- Older kids should be directed to monitored kids’ chat rooms.
- Get to know the chat rooms your kids do visit and with whom they talk. Check to see the kind of conversations that take place. Chat rooms featuring subjects that attract children and teenagers, such as music, sports, or fashion, are prime targets of child sexual predators, who often disguise themselves as peers.
- Instruct your kids to never leave the chat room’s public area and engage in a one-on-one chat in a private area. These areas are unmonitored.
- Younger kids should share a family e-mail address rather than have their own e-mail accounts.
- Tell your children to never respond to instant messaging or e-mails from strangers. If your children use computers in places outside your supervision-public library, school, or friends’ homes-find out what computer safeguards are used.
- Post the family online agreement or contract near the computer, to remind your kids about the basic safety rules.
A few tips for your kids
There are a number of preventive measures your can instruct your kids to take, including:
- Never download images from an unknown source, or upload sexually suggestive images of yourself to the internet
- Tell an adult you trust (parent, teacher, etc.) immediately if anything that happens online makes you feel uncomfortable or frightened.
- Choose a gender-neutral screen name. Make sure the name you choose does not contain sexually suggestive words or reveal personal information. Avoid screen names that have words like girl, boy, princess, prince, Barbie, flower, or numbers that may indicate age, zip code or area code. Also avoid screen names that have school mascot or logos in it.
- Never reveal personal information. about yourself (including age and gender) or about the family to anyone online. Do not fill out online personal profiles.
- Stop any e-mail communication, instant messaging conversations, or chats if anyone starts to ask questions that are too personal or sexually suggestive.
- Never agree to meet someone in person that you’ve met on-line.
- Remember that what you are told on-line may or may not be true.