Is your child at risk online?

 

Here are some warning signs that your child might be at risk: 

 

Your child spends too much time online 
Instead of hanging out with friends, they would rather spend time on their computer or mobile device, chatting with strangers. Your child may like being online late at night because there’s no one around to monitor what they’re doing. When a child spends too much time online, they become more exposed to online predators and paedophiles. 

 

You find sexually explicit material in your child’s computer 
It’s unusual for children to be interested in that type of material at a very young age. So if you find some on your child’s computer, it could mean that they are visiting sites which they shouldn’t be looking at, or someone is providing them with it. Online predators usually use pornographic material in order to start sexual discussions and seduction. 

 

Your child receives phone calls or messages from someone you don’t know 
Most online predators will eventually want to talk to their potential victim on the phone and often make arrangements to meet in person. Keep an eye on your child’s behaviour while on the phone - if they seem anxious, nervous or secretive, there might be something suspicious going on. 

 
Your child receives gifts from someone you don’t know 
Online predators often send letters, photos and gifts while building a relationship with potential victims. 
 
Your child becomes quiet and distant from family and friends 
Children who are lonely or emotionally detached from their family are likely to spend most of their time online in search for love, care and attention. Online predators take advantage of emotionally vulnerable children and make the child feel like they care, while their family does not. This creates further tension with the child’s family. Alternatively, your child may also become withdrawn after sexual victimization.

 

Download the Parent’s Guide to Online Safety