Cyber predators – The most dangerous of all predators.

Your daughter is growing up and showing an interest in the internet. She wants to surf the internet and become a member of websites like Myspace, Friendster, Xanga and Facebook. Her friends are doing it so why shouldn’t she? Is what she asks you. And you are scared.

It’s every parent’s nightmare – The dark and ugly side of teen blogging. Teens all over the world are blogging phone numbers, age, addresses and other personal information that makes them vulnerable to anyone who wants to track them down.

We need to protect our kids online . So, how do we keep our kids safe from cyber criminals?

1. It is observed that generally kids having problems at home, school or with relationships become an easy target for cyber predators. They are first befriended by these cyber criminals who soon become their soulmates and later manipulate and victimize them.

2. Parents, keep the communication lines open.Win their confidence. Ensure that they share their web experiences with you.

3. Also parents need to become net smart. Learn computers.Catch up. Not knowing computers shouldn’t be your excuse for not ensuring your child’s online safety.

4. Learn to log on. Know their passwords, screen names and account information. Parents, study what your kids are doing online.

5. Talk to them about the dangers of cyber predators and online crimes. Make the kids understand the repercussions of their actions.

6. Teach them not to give too much personal information over the internet as it is viewed by millions of people and could fall into the wrong hands.

7. Keep the computer in a public area like the living room or the family room.

8. Install monitoring software which will help monitor your child’s internet activities.

9. Enable computer filtering features.

10. If your child has a Myspace account , ask them to make it private so that only friends can view their profile.

11. Teach them not to meet anyone physically, whom they have ‘met’ for the first time on the internet.

12. Tell them the dangers of sending their photos online and to avoid sharing files. they should also learn to say ‘no’ when they are asked to install extra software as their online activities can then be monitored by any one.

Most importantly teach them that people are not what they seem online. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.

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