The Internet has proved a useful tool for people wishing to exploit children. As recent high profile cases in the news have revealed, Internet chat rooms can be used by paedophiles to establish deceptive relationships with children. They then “groom” children to become victims, either psychologically on the Internet itself, or by arranging to actually meet with them. Often victims believe that they are chatting to other children on line.
Making It Safe To Surf
There are ways in which you can help to protect your child online and ensure that the Internet is a safe way to learn and have fun. Ask your Internet Service Provider about installing parental controls, which can help prevent your child from accessing websites with sexual content.
Learn all you can about the Internet. In the same way that you would teach your child about the dangers from strangers, warn your child about dangers on the Internet and lay down some ground rules regarding the time they spend online. If possible, avoid your child going online in private, or at least ensure that you have access to their computer. Make sure they know they should never arrange to meet a new friend made on the Internet unaccompanied.
If your child does experience some form of exploitation whether mild or severe, it is crucial to be 100% supportive, make it clear that it is not their fault and that you are there to help and protect them no matter what.
The Virtual Global Task Force brings together law enforcement and industry from around the world in a unique partnership to empower and protect children online. The Taskforce website provides a range of information, advice and support. This includes information on how to report abuse, advice to stay safe online and support to victims and potential victims of abuse.