The Internet can be more dangerous than you think. It offers a veritable field of opportunities for paedophiles.
Nowadays, as more and more children have ready access to computers and to the Internet form home, monitoring the information your child is exposed to can be difficult. And when you consider that there is an entire network of paedophiles out there that focus their entire attention on trapping children via the Internet, things start to take a more ominous turn. So if you've never thought about what your child is up to when he connects to the net, it's time you started paying attention.
Does your child have a computer in his room? Children with computers in their own bedroom are much more inclined to stay up late into the night chatting or surfing. It is best if the computer is either in your bedroom, or in the study - not in your child's bedroom. This is not just because you would be able to keep a check on what he is surfing, but also because in this manner, you will discourage the temptation of your child to chat late into the night, since you can insist that he turn off the computer when it is time for bed. As he is in your bedroom, you can shuffle him out at any time, which is better than you having to go to his room to keep telling him to turn off the computer.
Various types of software are available that block access to adult and pornographic sites. Make sure you have this software installed in your computer so that your child is unable to access such sites. While some argue that children will find a way to access porn if they are determined to, this is something you cannot help. What you can do is to prevent easy access to it - access that they would otherwise have at the tips of their fingers. Often, even if your child is conducting a search on a harmless topic, porn sites may figure in the matches found and your child may get tempted to enter them. Similarly, any person can stumble across adult sites completely by accident, so it is best if you completely block them out.
Chatting with strangers
Discourage your children from chatting with strangers on the Internet. Although they may tell you that you are over-reacting if you try to explain the dangers of this pastime, you will have gotten through to them more than you realize, and they will consequently be more likely to obey rules you lay down, such as:
No exchange of addresses or telephone numbers.
Under no circumstance must he give out a photograph of himself or personal details such as the school he goes to or the place where his parents work.
No information that would lead to him should be given out.
He should never arrange to meet anyone who he has met online. Even though he trusts his instincts, would he be willing to bet his life on them?
Enroll your child in a hobby class or get him started on a sport, so he is outdoors and his mind is occupied. If he leads an active life he would be less inclined to chat with people he doesn't know.
See also Tips to Prevent Abduction
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