Keeping Kids Safe When Surfing The Web

Kids, especially teenagers, feel indestructible. It can be difficult to convince them of the dangers lurking in cyberspace. Sadly, there are predators out there who make it their ambition to lure unsuspecting, young girls and boys into compromising, and all too often dangerous, situations. Recent news reports make it clear that the pool of adults with sinister intentions is hardly limited to the obvious criminal element. It can be a complete stranger, a “friend”, or a seemingly harmless individual your child met on the internet. Children, even very astute teens, find themselves tricked into giving out personal information, including names, home addresses, and phone numbers.

So what is a parent to do? Most parents we work with are torn between a genuine desire to respect their child’s privacy, and a serious concern for the child’s safety. We’ve seen parents panic first hand, as their kids sheepishly admit that they “accidentally” gave out personal information online. This sharing of information included details about what the parent does for a living, schedules, and their address. Using a fictitious name, and more importantly, a fictitious age, isn’t protection for a teen. Quite the opposite. Teens posing as older adults can open themselves up to a a mess of trouble when a stranger they met online comes knocking at the door.