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May 21, 2013
Four years ago, a woman in New York named April, researched Internet filtering software. Her 15-year-old daughter Sabrina had just received a new laptop and she wanted to protect it.
At the time, April found Net Nanny. She learned that it blocked pornography and other undesired topics, masked profanity, enforced time usage limits, and monitored social media and chat activity. As it turned out, it was Net Nanny’s Instant Messaging (IM) and chat room monitoring feature that proved most beneficial for April.
April began monitoring Sabrina's online and IM activity through Net Nanny with no signs of unusual activity for a few months.
But then Sabrina met John at a party; he was a 20-year-old friend of a friend. They began communicating by text, email, and IM on Yahoo Messenger. Sabrina told her mother she liked John, but April made it clear Sabrina wasn’t allowed to date someone his age. Sabrina seemed to agree, but a few month later, April noticed something was odd.
She investigated further, reviewing a few Net Nanny reports, and discovered that Net Nanny had flagged quite a few IM conversations as dangerous. Shocked and disgusted by the conversations, April immediately contacted the police.
She learned that John had been grooming Sabrina through sexually explicit text messages for months, bypassing the safeguard April had established for her daughter online.
“I later found out that John was picking Sabrina up at night after she had gone to bed, then returning her home before morning,” said April. “The seemingly innocent friendship had developed into a sexual relationship and he was photographing those acts with my daughter.”
Police identified John by his computer’s IP address, obtained a search warrant for his computer, and found transcripts of explicit conversations and photographs with a number of other girls Sabrina’s age. April’s documented proof of the conversations between John and her daughter helped police convict John of disseminating indecent material to a minor in the first degree. He was sentenced to serve six months in jail, 10 years probation, and was required to register as a level one sex offender.
Sabrina initially defended John, not wanting him to get in trouble for their relationship. However, when police showed her John’s photos and conversations with other girls that greatly resembled her own interactions with him, Sabrina was devastated and heartbroken. After realizing she was a victim to John’s lies, Sabrina received counseling to help her address her role in the abuse. Healing and re-establishing trust with her mother were then able to take place.
April’s proactive decision to protect her daughter online removed Sabrina from a dangerous situation and put a predator in jail. Here at Net Nanny, we’re glad we could help.
If you’d like to protect your children online by monitoring their social network activity, get Net Nanny Social. It helps protects kids from online threats and monitors activities related to your child’s “friends,” cyberbullying, sexual predators, privacy concerns, and reputation-damaging pictures or videos.
Do you have a story similar to April’s of protecting your child online? We’d love to hear from you!
*Names have been changed to protect the victim and her family from further persecution and harm.