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Stranger Danger - Don't Forget About Online Strangers

By Rizwan Ahmad - 26 April 2013 No Comments
As a parent, you know about the importance of discussing stranger danger with their child. You talk with your child about the importance of staying away from strangers while out in public, such as at the store or park. You tell your child to never leave with someone they don’t know, no matter what story they tell your child. And you also tell your child to look for police officers, teachers or even mothers with children if they ever feel threatened or in trouble.

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Don't Forget About Online Strangers
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What some parents fail to do, though, is to also discuss the dangers of people online. With the onslaught of technology, more and more children are accessing the Internet, using websites or social media to communicate with others.

Too many predators are using these platforms in order to communicate with children or young adults and cause harm. Predators play on the insecurities of these children to build relationships. They then get these children to meet them somewhere, and they either kidnap, rape or possibly kill them.

These predators pretend to be someone that they’re not, and this tactic is known as catfishing. For example, a 50-year-old man may tell a 14-year-old girl that he’s 16, and he may use pictures of random people from the Internet in order to appear as if he truly is 16. After convincing the young girl to meet him, the old man will show up and cause harm to the child.

In order to keep your children safe online, there are certain things you must do.

Talk with your child.
The very first thing you need to do is to talk with your child about the dangers of the Internet. Let them know that everyone they meet on social media sites are not always who they claim to be, and remind your child that they should never meet someone in person that they met online. Teach them about child predators and how they prey on younger people. The more you can educate your child on the dangers of the Internet, the more precaution they will take.

Monitor their use.
Make sure that you’re also keeping an eye on your child’s use of the computer. For example, you may want to only allow your child to access social media sites for a certain period of time, and you should never allow your child to have a computer in their bedroom. Instead, keep the family computer in a public space in your home, such as the living room, so that you can always see what sites your child is on.

If your child has a smartphone, you may also want to take their phone away from them at a certain time at night and keep it in your possession. This will keep them from accessing these sites after hours.

You may also want to put other rules into place, such as requesting that your child give you their password or that they “friend” you. This way, you can better monitor who they’re friends with and what they’re saying while online.

When you talk to your child about strangers, make sure that you are also making them aware of online strangers, and not just the strangers they may find in public.

Joshua Reynolds is a social media manager and father of two.  He has recently been writing about stranger danger and online safety tips for kids.

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Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is contributed by Joshua Reynolds and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,

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