No matter how much their online “buddies” seem like friends who share interests, they are still strangers. The Internet account and primary screen name should be in your name, not your children’s names.It’s also a good idea to know your children’s passwords and let them know you will check their online activity.If you ever do agree to a meeting, make sure it is in a public place and accompany your child.
Predators will often send photographs or visuals to children as part of a grooming process to gain trust.Some of the photographs may be pornographic and may even involve child pornography. Other filtering and monitoring software programs can be purchased separately.Use an agreement or contract for everyone to sign listing the rules about keeping safe online.Teach your children about sexual victimisation and other potential dangers of the Internet.Check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) for information on using all of their services.
Go to some of the sites listed in “Resources” to help you get started.
But remember: This is probably the most important thing you can do.
Do not let your children be in their rooms all night on the Internet.
They should be aware that even naming a friend, local sports team, shopping centre or community event could give away their identities.
Also be aware that sharing photos could contain the details of the place it was taken in the metadata.
Many predators want to meet a child for sexual contact.