Online predators are internet users who exploit children and teens for sexual and violent purposes. This may include child grooming, engage in sexual activities, unwanted exposure of materials and pictures, online harassment, threats to cause fear or embarrassment. Basically it is an online harassment.

Communication tools used by online predators :

Online predators use communication tools like social networking, email, chat rooms, instant messaging and also use grooming process for personal meetings.

  • By using social networking websites: Social networking websites are popular for expressing user's views, to post and share photos, and videos over websites. Online predators take advantage of these web sites and pretend to be a child and make online friendship and try to collect your personal details and gradually introduce sexual communications and engage you in sexual activities.

Safety Tip : Always take security measures like privacy settings and set the limited view of your profile.

  • By using e-mail address : An online predator collect the email addresses of children and starts sending them photographs, links related to porn sites and try to abuse the children and insist child to involve in sexual communication by threats and makes children feel uncomfortable.

Safety Tip : Ignore or delete the mails from unknown users

  • Through Chat rooms : Online predators join into chat rooms and start chatting with children and try to pretend as a child to collect the personal information, build trust and try to be a good friend by asking about child’s interests, hobbies, personal photographs, ask for private chats, offers gifts. Sometimes the predators will be very kind and affectionate toward a child and gradually introduce the sexual content in their conversation and ask a child to maintain secrecy by not informing parents. If a child doesn’t agree they may threaten and abuse them into submission.

Safety Tip : It is suggested to hide personal information like interests, hobbies and family details to online friends.

  • By Grooming Process : An online predator builds a false trust, and fake relationships with the child & family of child to win their trust with a purpose of sexual abuse. They attempt to break child's resistance and tries for face to face meeting too. The act of grooming a child may include activities that are legal, but later lead to sexual contact.

Safety Tip : Do not get lead by any strangers into changing your habits and thoughts,Take your parents if you want to meet your online friend.

Threats by online predators and ways to prevent them  :

Online predators make threats when you no longer want to chat with them and start forcing you for in-person meeting by issuing threats to harm your family members and friends.

Warning Signs Ways to prevent online predators
  • Asking you personal details
  • Offering jobs
  • Offering emotional cushion
  • Offering gifts
  • Wants to meet you without reason
  • Threatening to share private information if you don’t do what they say.
  • Expressing too much affection.
  • Use nick names that are gender neutral - Make sure to choose the user names without using your real names.
  • Don’t fill your personal details in your online profile - Don’t post your personal details in social networking where everyone can see your details.
  • Set rules for online chatting - Set rules like time limit and use Internet under guidance of parents and make sure the computer is placed in the common room.
  • Avoid personal chats- like gender related things, problems at home and schools . Always avoid the topics related to your gender, age, location, and don’t share problems of home and school.

If you are threatened :

  • Don’t fear : Be cool, stop chatting and get out of the chat room or log off.
  • Don’t be scared to say NO : If you are not willing to do things asked by predator don’t be scared to say NO.
  • Inform to parents : If someone threatens you, immediately inform your parents.
  • Take a screen shot of your conversation as evidence and tell you will report to police : If someone uses bad language or threatens, take a screen shot of your conversation and tell them that you would report to police.
  • Don’t log off : If someone tries to abuse you don’t logoff immediately, inform parents and inform the law enforcement.
  • Contact cyber police : If something goes to the extreme like threatening to harm family members, immediately contact cyber police.
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