Many 13-17 year olds, (69%) have updated their status on social networking sites to include their physical location28% chatted with strangers (people whom they did not know in the offline world).
Many kids are indiscriminate about the information they are posting online, on their social networking profiles for the world to see.
According to a Pew study in 2012, teen are sharing more personal information than ever before, such as real name, phone number, school name, city or town where they live, email address, birth date and interests.
They look like you or me or anyone down the street.
They are “mostly male, although we are seeing an alarming trend of female predators. A professional, upstanding member in the community but leading a deviant lifestyle through the Internet.” Parents need to pay attention to their children’s online activity and take preventative measures to protect their children from online predators.
Your teen comes home from school and goes up to her bedroom, closes the door and goes online. The good news is that your child actually becoming the victim of an online predator is unlikely.
One of the biggest fears that parents have when kids go online is online predators, especially since so many kids have computers and mobile devices in their bedrooms with webcams.Pictures of kids in school sports uniforms, talking about their school or activity, posting where they are on their status updates, or using Foursquare a geo-location site.There are many opportunities for predators to compile the puzzle pieces to find out more about a child, their tastes in music, TV, and ultimately where they’re located.Predators are master manipulators and provide the online “pretend” support these kids are looking for to build trust and to verify the child’s feelings.They work at becoming that child’s friend and gaining trust which is known as the grooming process.This recently happened to a Massachusetts 13 year old who thought she was communicating with a teenager. It’s especially important to know who they’re engaging with online and who their friends are on social networking sites. Set limits and ground rules about what your child is allowed to do online, the sites they’re allowed to visit and apps they’re allowed to download.