Sex Offenders And The Online Dangers They Pose To Children


by Amy Cainfield - Date: 2010-07-04 - Word Count: 489 Share This!

The dangers that face children on a daily basis when logged into http://FaceBook.com are absolutely shocking.

With over 50million users and virtually no monitoring of the sites, these have become a sex offender's paradise….and a parent's worst nightmare!

For example, teen popular sites like FaceBook and http://MySpace.com offer a huge varitly of activity for teenagers; they can share pictures, talk about school, who they're dating, sports, other kids, you name it. It would be very naļve to think that a sexual offender or a pedophile would not be trolling sites like theses.

In fact, according http://MySpace.com's TOS it is against the rules to have an account if you are under the age of 14. But as you'd suspect kids will be kids and it's no surprise that they have found a way around getting an account even though they don't meet the specified age requirement.

Due to the fact that the ratio between users and monitors is way out of proportion, there really is no verification of age being done at all other then asking for date of birth.

MySpace officials for example have stated that they have every available staff member staffing the site, but that's still not enough to control the problem and keep your child from being exposed to danger.

Teens have this false sense of security that tends to shield them from the real world and the bad things that happen there.

Although per http://MySpace.com's TOS it is clearly forbidden to do so, teens will often foolishly post their most personal information like their phone or cell numbers, addresses, and even their real names, without thinking of the repercussions of such information leaking out to a potentially dangerous person.

The moderators of MySpace really can not do anything stop it. This is again due to that ratio of monitors to users.

Typically, a sex offender will often pose as a teen themselves in order to gain the trust of another teen or group of teens. The conversations start out innocent enough simply talking about sports, school, and peer pressure.

But very gradually the discussions will turn to a more personal nature and sexual solicitation begins once the trust of the child is gained.

After all, the children believe that they are talking to someone of their own age. Someone whom they think likes, understands and empathizes with them. From there the conversations could lead to potential face to face meetings.

So what do you do? Well the best defense you as a parent has is to prevent your child from becoming a sexual offender online is to educate them. Talk to them about the problem.

Teach them about the potential problems lurking on the internet and let them know what to look for and them give them tools and the strategies how to avoid it….BEFORE it happens to them.

In order to stop the victimization of children online, the first step you have to take is for a parent like you to get involved with their child's online activity.


Amy Cainfield is a child safety advocate working in St.Louis. She recommends parental control software like PC Tattletale to help parents keep their kids safe online.n
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