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Kids Safety: 11 Signs Your Child is Being Targeted by a Predator

April 3, 2012 at 4:43 PM

National Child Abuse Prevention Month uKnowKidsDid you know that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month?

Internet child abuse is disturbingly common and often happens right under a parent's nose. One in five children are sexually solicited online every year, and only one-fourth of them told a parent. When a predator targets a child, they usually spend several weeks or months gaining the child's trust before any real-life abuse occurs.

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, recommit to protecting your own child, grandchildren, or students by reviewing these 11 signs that your child may be involved with a dangerous person online:

    1. Unfamiliar friends on their social networking buddy list

    2. Unfamiliar contacts in their cell phone

    3. Pornography, especially child pornography, appears for the first time on their phone or computer

    4. Sudden knowledge about sex or other adult topics

    5. Carrying expensive gifts that can't be explained, especially a new cell phone

    6. Skipping school

    7. New rebellious or edgy behavior, language, or dress

    8. Risky behavior like smoking, taking drugs, or drinking

    9. Distances self from offline friends and family

    10. Unwillingness to give details about online whereabouts, friends, or communications

    11. Moodiness, especially following online activity


      National Child Abuse Protection Month is dedicated to keeping kids safe everywhere from the harmful effects of abuse and specifically, internet child abuse. This April you can redouble your efforts to be involved in your child's online life and learn to recognize the early warning signs of a predator targeting your child online. Stop Internet child abuse before it starts.

Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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