Bible Reading: Proverbs 21:1-11
I remember when I used to run and play and talk with the neighbors, we would go all over our neighborhood and our parents had no concern. Not anymore; times have changed. Today pre-teens and teens are prey for predators.
The website protectkids.com says that the most common means by which sexual predators contact children over the internet is through chat rooms, instant messages and email. In fact, 89% of sexual solicitations were made in either chat rooms or instant messages and 1 in 5 youths (ages 10-17 years) has been sexually solicited online (JAMA, 2001). Considering that 25% of kids online participate in real time chat and 13 million use instant messaging, the risks of such children, either knowingly or unknowingly, interacting with a predator is alarming.
So what are parents to do? Experts in law enforcement tell us to do the following.
Recognize that chat rooms are the playground for today’s predators.
Place computer in an area of your home where you can easily monitor your child’s activity.
Teach your children to never give out personal information.
Set time limits for your child to use the computer.
Do not allow your child to have an online profile. This serves as a lightning rod for predators.
Better safe than sorry.
✞ Never give out personal information.