online predatorProtecting their child is the number one objective of any parent. This is the primary role and responsibility. Unfortunately, it is becoming a role that is more difficult with the Internet around. Although the vast majority of people use the Internet for harmless everyday tasks, there are some who use this medium to commit crimes.

Worse yet, many of these crimes are committed against children. Take this headline from the Calgary Herald for example:

Former court security guard Daniel Thomas Mackie should go to prison for 12 years for coaxing and extorting more than 20 young children over the Internet to send him nude photographs of themselves, a judge was told.

This is a horrific thing that anyone would do this, but there are people out there who are like this. In order to keep children protected, parents need to know about what they can do in terms of Internet security.

The first thing to do is to have a talk with your child about the dangers of the Internet before allowing them on it. They need to know that they cannot trust everyone that they meet in the real world or the virtual one. After this, it is important for you to tell them to always come to you if there is any problem with someone online. They need to report this to you immediately and cease the conversation with that person.

Finally, you can always have certain websites blocked on your computer, and there are programs to make Internet surfing more child friendly. It is not always easy to explain these things to your children at first, but it could help to save them from becoming the victim of a terrible crime. It is worth having that conversation.

                      The Truth About Sexting:  a uKnowKids Infographic            
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 uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.