If you have young children there are some proactive steps you will need to take if you want to protect them from predators. In the past parents would tell their children “don’t speak to strangers” but with social media and smartphone technology it seems like the strangers can access your children in your very own home. Aside from strangers the individuals your children interact with could pose a threat to the well-being of your child. As a parent you have to use a balanced approach of giving your children freedom while at the same time keeping them safe.
Using Technology to Keep Tabs on Your Children
There is technology available that will let you monitor the chat communications your children are having without their knowledge. While you can spy on texts on this website it would be smart to develop some contingencies so you will be able to take proactive measures if you find your child has been acting inappropriately.
The primary reason you would spy on texts on this website is your child may be smart enough to find spyware installed on their smartphone, by using this approach the odds of being discovered would be reduced. One of the things you should be on the lookout for is “grooming” behavior.
What is Grooming Behavior
What some predators do is pretend to be a child the same age as your kid and create a rapport with them. At first it may come across as innocent banter but the predator is trying to get your kid to trust them and when they reach that point which could take days, weeks or even months the conversation will change to one sending images. The predator may send an image but it is not of them but a child that is in the same age group as your kid. Your child will then be asked to send a photo and at first the image is just their face or pets but over the course of time it will escalate to inappropriate images. When/if it reaches the point where there are inappropriate images being sent the next step is to meet in person.
Parents need to have open discussions with their children about the risks of using smartphones and that you will never be angry at them for telling you the truth. If your children feel like they are going to get into trouble for telling you about what is happening they will try to hide their activities even more which makes it harder for you to protect them.
If you notice the chat conversations are becoming inappropriate instead of confronting your child directly it may be wise to contact law enforcement. They will be able to procure warrants to trace the telephone of the person communicating with your child and apprehend them before something bad happens but the onus is on you the parent to covertly keep tabs on what your child is dong. While we cannot protect your children from the hardships of life we can take these proactive measures to reduce the risk of them being victimized by a creep.