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Characteristics_Of_An_Internet_Child_Predator

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					Characteristics Of An Internet Child Predator

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587

Summary:
Millions of children and teens are on the Internet everyday. They surf
web pages, get their email and chat with their friends. Most parents
believe this is harmless, except that our kids are being targeted
everyday by predators on the Internet.

Let’s explore some of the characteristics of a child predator. The
average child predator is male and over the age of 25. He could be
considered “the guy down the street who kept to himself”. The loner type,
very few friends and typ...


Keywords:
internet safety, child internet safety, cybersafety, monitoring software


Article Body:
Millions of children and teens are on the Internet everyday. They surf
web pages, get their email and chat with their friends. Most parents
believe this is harmless, except that our kids are being targeted
everyday by predators on the Internet.

Let’s explore some of the characteristics of a child predator. The
average child predator is male and over the age of 25. He could be
considered “the guy down the street who kept to himself”. The loner type,
very few friends and typically not married. A child predator most often
has limited social skills, but a propensity to engage in conversation
with an adolescent or child. This individual will tend to become shy with
adults of his own age. He tends to seek out jobs that allow him to work
around children, such as a baseball or basketball coach, Boy Scout
leader, janitor or teacher at the school.

Child predators usually see nothing wrong with their behavior. Child
predators come from all walks of life, some are rich, some are poor, some
are educated and some are not. They usually have a sexually abusive or
violent background histories. Child predators will “target” numerous
children at one time. Their words are cunning and they take their time to
“groom” their victims. “Grooming” is done by showering their victims with
gifts, signs of affection and anything else they can, in order to build
trust and a relationship with potential victims. Once trust is built,
blackmail and guilt are sometimes used to get the child to succumb to
their demands.

The Child Internet predator will utilize any or all of these techniques
online. They will often times mask their age and state that they are
around the same age as your child. They will stalk the Internet sites
that most children and teens regularly visit. Hiding behind their
computer screen, waiting patiently and then attacking their prey, our
children.

How can you tell if your child is at risk? Your child may turn off the
computer suddenly when you enter the room. Your child may be receiving
gifts from others that you do not know. They may become more secretive
about what they are doing online and usually spend more than an hour a
day on the Internet. You may see long distance phone numbers that you do
not recognize or they may receive phone calls from people that you are
not familiar with. These are all signs that your child may be at risk.

As a parent, what can you do? One of the best ways to keep your child
safe online is to create open dialogue with your child and to set clear
rules regarding computer and Internet usage. You will also need to
understand what your child is doing online. Learning more about how your
child uses the Internet and whom they talk to in emails and instant
message chat rooms can do this. You may also consider utilizing Internet
monitoring tools to keep tabs on your child’s activity. One organization
that has combined both parental monitoring tools and tools to translate
the litany of instant message acronyms is Safe Computer Kids. They have
recently launched their website at www.safecomputerkids.com. You can
contact them at 866-846-6464 or email them at info@safecomputerkids.com.

As a counselor for more than sixteen years, working with adolescents,
adults and families, I have yet to meet a sexual offender who has been
completely cured with treatment and have all too often seen the
devastating results of their actions.