Internet and crimes against children and education

Internet and crimes against children and education

According to researches 90% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 use computers, and 75% percent of 14-17 year-olds, as well as 65% of 10-13 year-olds use the Internet. Your children may use the Internet either for educational reasons (e.g. looking up information for school papers) since most schools now offer free access to their students, or for fun (play online or arcade games and chat). This fact brings us to a question: Is the internet a safe place for your children?

Being online can pose hazards to your children. Children can come across pornographic images or even be victims of online sex offenders. According to the University of New Hampshire, 42% of Internet users aged 10 to 17 have been exposed to online pornography and of those, 66% said they did not want to view those images.

What about online sex offenders?

Internet predators can be of any age or gender but they are determined to dedicate much time and money in order to “seduce” your children. Pedophiles can easily manipulate your children because they follow the trends; they know your kids’ interests and hobbies, they claim to listen to the same music as teenagers. They are willing to do anything to gain your children’s trust. Gradually, they try to diminish your children’s conscience by showing them pornographic images or by incorporating sexual content into their discussions. Finally, they may try to reach your children in person and molest them. Internet stalkers usually collect pornographic images of the children they molest not only for personal reasons, but to blackmail the children as well. They use those images as a threat. They might threaten children that the photos will be published, so as to keep them from telling their parents about the crime that has been committed; because child pornography is an crime against children – children are ashamed to be seen by their parents in pornographic images.

Is there any evidence that your children could be victims of cyber stalkers?

According to studies, some signs that your children are possible victims of such crimes:

1. Your children spend a lot of time online, especially at nights. Child molesters usually act at nights because they work during the day.
2. You find pornographic material on your children’s computer. If the computer is used by the whole family, your children might keep pornographic images on external disks.
3. Your children shut down their computer or change the website they are browsing as soon as you enter their room. Kids feel guilty when they are watching pornographic material, so their first reaction is close down their computer to avoid getting caught.
4. Your children receive gifts from people you don’t know. Child molesters are willing to spend money to send your child a personal gift to show that they care.
5. Your kids receive calls form strangers or make calls to numbers you don’t know. Pedophiles will try to talk to your children on the phone sooner or later. Even if the child hesitates to give a phone number, online sex offenders have a solution. Some of them have free numbers so children might reach them any time at no charge, or they can use caller ID to identify the child’s number and call them back.
6. Your children step further away from their family. Internet predators will do anything to make your children keep a distance from you. The crime is that they can manipulate your children by making every little problem that may rise in any family into a big deal. They will try to patronize them and gain their trust.

What should you do to protect your children from cyber stalkers?

1. Education is the key word. Talk to your children. Discuss the hazards of the Internet with them. Make sure they will understand what Internet crimes are and how someone could hurt them.
2. Always check your children’s computer as well as anything your children keep in their rooms that might contain pornographic material (like external disks, CDs, DVDs, flash drives).
3. Create an email account together with your children so you know the password. Check your children’s e-mails and explain to them why you have to do that.
4. Be informed about the places where your children may connect to the Internet. They might be a friend’s house or school’s library. Find out what safeguards they use.
5. Spend time with your children. Let them show you their favorite sites; ones they visit often. Create a bond of trust.
6. Teach your children how to use the Internet properly. There is far more to discover than chat rooms.
7. Use a parental control software program that records everything your children are doing when they are connected to the net. You may also be able to control the time your children spend online and block sites with dangerous content.
8. Use caller ID. This way you will know all the calls that have been made in your phone number.
9. Make sure you give your children the following advice:
• They should never arrange a face to face meeting with people they meet over the Internet.
• They should not download anything from unknown sources.
• They should never give their picture, their name, their address or phone number to people they don’t know.
• They shouldn’t believe anything they are told by online “friends” or everything they hear on the Internet.
• They should never reply to messages that contain pornographic content.

That’s pretty much everything you should know about the Internet and crimes against children. In order to protect your children from being Internet predators’ victims, you need to follow two rules: education and control.

Remember: if your children are victims or possible victims is by no means their fault. Child molesters must take all the responsibly of their criminal acts.

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Comments (25)

  1. Roriniho Sunday - 24 / 02 / 2008 Reply
    Or, just let your kids watch prn. They will do anywayeventually, so why hold em back? Admittedly peedo's are sick fucks, and they need to be shut down, but, with pr0n, who cares?
    • Cherry Sunday - 24 / 02 / 2008 Reply
      Actually do you have children? Yes someday they will watch porn, but this article is not about the entire porn intustry, is about pornography material that online sex offenders send to your children to "seduce" them.
  2. Olaf Sunday - 24 / 02 / 2008 Reply
    I'm a father of one 12 years old girl and the only thing I can do is to trust here that she behaves the right way on the net. I try to explain here frequently which "web elements" are bad for her and hope that helps. It's wrong to forbid uncontrolled web access because in this moment it becomes exciting for the kids. ... of course you need to know your child and maybe also your child's friends.
  3. jimmy Monday - 25 / 02 / 2008 Reply
    Online sex offenders are hugely over-emphasized by the US government (and therefore the US media since it is almost government-operated at this point). The reason for this is that sex-predation is a very easy way to motivate people in the US to give up internet freedoms. Be very careful before you get too over-excited about this boogie-man. Its true there are sickos out there but no more than there were before internet-use was commonplace. And one might argue that the interent actually benefits children in that it keeps the sickos away from schools and at home jacking off to myspace pages. At any rate, be very cautious beofore you buy into this concept of "dangerous pedophiles" most of the hype is just to excuse laws regulating the internet and reducing freedom.
    • Jeminy Tuesday - 26 / 02 / 2008 Reply
      I agree, freedom is very important. People fought for it, people died for it and for sure we shouldn't give it up. But do you really think that any 8-year-old kid has ever chose to watch pornographic images involving adults and children? Do you really thing that a 10-year old can tell the difference between good and evil, right and wrong? and do you think that a kid can decide to download a file that it has just received in it's mail or not? Sure, sickos are out there and they are no more that they were 30 years ago. But when you say that parental control(in any of its forms) is reducing children's freedom in the net is like you are saying that women shouldn't carry pepper spray because the number of rapists hasn't bumped up. And when you leave a comment like that ( about internet freedom and free choices) in an article that talks about the internet crimes against children(that after all they DO exist) is like telling us that rape is a choice. Because that is exactly what online sex offenders do to kids. They rape their soul and if we ignore(in the name of freedom) the first signs that our kids may be victims, pedophiles might actually rape them. Anyway, in my opinion, parents should be there for their children to educate them and to protect them up to an age when they are actually ready to choose freely.
  4. Olaf Tuesday - 26 / 02 / 2008 Reply
    @Jeminy, you're 100% right we the parents need to educate our children how to use (and understand) the internet! The bad thing is that most of the children know more about the net than their parents :(
  5. jimmy Tuesday - 26 / 02 / 2008 Reply
    hey I never said anything about parents.. I was talking about the government/media hype.. the danger is minuscule but it is hyped up to try and allow for Internet regulations which benefit the government, not individuals. Parents have a right to raise their kids however they want to, and they should.. thats the problem is parents want the government to help them raise their kids (this is a real tragedy of modern society). You are wrong in your perception that it is easy to find child porn online, thats another big myth... it might be there occasionally but you'd have to be a hacker to find it. Personally, I wouldn't really care if my children saw porn as long as it was not deviant or violent porn.. sexual activity is totally natural and I think it does more harm than good to confuse kids by prohibiting access to exploring nature (especially if its based on some kind of out-dated puritanical dogma or personal insecurity on the part of the parent).
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