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Jun 30, 2015
Growing up, I distinctly remember my mom sitting me down and telling me about dangerous people. I remember her telling me that a stranger might offer me candy, or have a cute puppy for me to play with. I remember her telling me that if I didn’t know them I shouldn’t talk to them because there are bad people out there. And I didn’t.
Parents need to start having a different talk with their children. These people aren’t at the park offering candy or cute puppies- they are much closer. Pedophiles, bullies, stalkers, etc. are in your home, on your child’s device. It is a growing problem, so much so that the Chicago Police Department has four officers dedicated solely to internet crimes.
Last month Det. Hollendoner, of the Chicago Police Department, held a meeting devoted to advising parents on online dangers and what they can do. Here are some of the main points that are relevant to anyone who is a parent:
1. “Most kids aren’t active on Facebook anymore.”
NN: Although we respect you monitoring your child on Facebook, you could be spending your time and energy monitoring their other apps. Check out these apps** that have been designed specifically for kids to be able to share information without being watched: Kik, Snapchat, Omegle, and Whisper.
** These apps can be hidden from the screen display(on iphones), but not from the spotlight search.
2. A common misconception is that “pedophiles are old men who lie about there age to attract young girls. Truth is that most pedophiles are often 23-30 year old men that actually never lie about age.”
NN: Insecure or curious teens can be easily persuaded by “kind”, attractive, 20- somethings. Monitor your child’s conversations to see who they are chatting with and what they are chatting about.
3. “Parents NEED to know the passwords to their child’s social media platforms and NO ONE else. If they share their password with friends, this is where they fall victim to cyberbullying.”
NN: Cyberbullying is just as serious as being solicited by pedophiles. For more information about cyberbullying and resources for help, visit: http://www.netnanny.com/learn_center/resources/
4. Teens sending naked selfies is a growing trend.
NN: Sending a nude selfie to a boyfriend may seem like a harmless act (for some girls); however, once it is shared or leaked, there is no getting it back. The sender is also prone to cyberbullying and other compounding problems.
There are over 100 online crime cases per month in Chicago alone- don’t let your child be a statistic. Take necessary steps and be cautious by following the tips above. For more tips and help visit http://www.netnanny.com/.