Imagine being a mother or father who is at home and suddenly the phone rings. It’s the police, they believe your son or daughter has been chatting with an internet predator. He/She went to meet him/her and was kidnapped. The police are tracking the suspect, but have no idea if their children is still alive. In today’s sick and twisted world these occurrences are becoming more and more frequent. Some parents and children don’t realize that with the power of the internet in millions of households, comes great responsibility. These websites have become a playground for cyber stalkers. Cyber predators can find easy prey on today’s internet, but with kids gaining more internet knowledge, computer security devices, and crime task units progress can start being made in stopping this ongoing problem.
One of the best ways to keep
children safe is by parents sitting down with their kids and informing them with some safety precautions to protect themselves and to not let their information get into the wrong hands. Each day there are nearly 750 million daily readers and authorities believe that anywhere between 500,000 to 750,000 are cyber stalkers (Zandt 1). Two of the most dangerous places where these cyber predators lurk are blog diaries and social networks(Zandt 1). In most cases the assailant tends to be male, but women are often their accomplice. These cyber predators are not easy to spot. They often are people with a steady incomes and even a college education. They own computer equipment and have knowledge on how the internet and these networks work(Obringer 1). Parents “…need to teach children that the Internet is like a very large city. There are lots of good things, some bad things, and a few very bad people.”(Miller 67). Cyber stalkers usually start by using techniques to help them find a single target. They will search through profiles or even create their own profile with the intent to lure unsuspecting youth. This is better known as “grooming”, or in other words searching for a victim who is unaware of the danger that the internet can hold. These predators often pose as a young adolescents, usually the same age as their victim. After first contact they will start making the conversations more private and trying to gain the young person’s trust. A clear cut sign to parents would be if your child is if your child is
Under aged children using the internet.
starting to have email, instant messaging,
telephone conversations, and even the
mentioning of meeting a friend they met on the internet(Obringer 2). The last step, and the main goal of these stalkers is to meet with their victims face to face. This is where the child is often kidnapped, raped, or even killed. Usually, if the predator can reach this goal it often to late for their victim. Some important tips that can be instilled into children are to be careful when writing their profile and to not make them to revealing, such as: age, sex, or
Young girls talking on a chat room.
location. Also, if they do plan on
meeting their internet buddy make sure that they don’t go alone and the meeting is in a public place with plenty of people around (Obringer 3).
Some websites are trying to clean up there acts but others are letting young adults that are only 13 years olds chat together with adults without any provisions. Parents need to sometimes take matters into their own hands and use security devices to stop their children from entering dangerous situations. If parents don’t install these website blockers, they need to make sure that their child is responsible enough to handle these networks. Parents sometimes forget how irresponsible a young child can be. When parents give their child their first phone they set provisions, but often forget to give provisions about chat rooms. If the child can’t live with these provisions,...