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May 26, 2021
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Juliya Smith

How to Talk to Teens About Dealing with Online Predators?

Do you want to protect your kids from online predators? Are you worried about your child being a victim of online predators? If yes, then let us understand the online predators and how we can deal with them.

As a parent, you might not know why your kids spend so much time online. No parents want their kids to keep on staring at the computer or a smartphone doing nothing productive. Indulging in the internet can give rise to many problems. Online predators are one of them.

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Parents are always concerned about their kids. According to pew research, more than 70% of the parents were worried about their kid's interaction with online predators. Online safety is vital for the whole family. The web can make a person's reputation good and worse in a matter of seconds.

Most teens and kids are innocent, and they lack common sense. They have minimum knowledge about internet safety and online safety. They don't see the bad aspects of the internet clearly and ignore the rules of being safe online.

Because of this, kids are more vulnerable to online predators. Online predation among kids and teenagers is more common than that of adults. Most teen girls are targeted by many sexual predators online.

So you have to help your kids deal with the problems. To deal with these issues, first, you have to understand in detail about Online predators. You need to know about how they work, their types, and the ways to deal with them.

Who are Online Predators?

Online predators are attackers who target kids and teenagers with the goal of abuse and sexual harassment. Teenage girls are the most common targets for sexual predators online. These predators manipulate teens into thinking that they are one of their own. And find a way to physically or mentally abuse them.

Instant messaging apps, social networking sites, chatrooms, and mobile phones are full of online predators trying to exploit internet safety. Staying safe from online predators is hard for teenagers because they do not know about them.

Since teenagers are prone to online predation, parents should work actively to control the situation. To recognize online predators, we know about their characteristics and types. So, let us understand in detail who they are and how they work.

Characteristics of Online Predators

Sexual predators have always been a problem all over the world. But, as time passed by, their way of committing crime changed. These days many predators search for their victims online. So let us know about the characters of online predators.

Manipulative

Online predators are known to be highly manipulating people. They tend to apply various methods and create distractions to make their victims go off balance. And then, they use it to fulfill their desires.

Dominant

Online predators are most dominant and do not fear others. They use this power of dominance and try to manipulate their victims. These predators can also act opposite at first, and then make their victim comfortable.

Charming

It is easy to create a fake personality using social media. Sexual predators use this downside of social sites to the fullest. They use the insecurity of victims and make them comfortable before manipulating them to do what they want.

Depersonalizing and Objectifying Others

Online predators do not see their victims as a person. Instead, they view them as an object. It's easy for them to depersonalize their victim and use them to get the most profit.

Types of online predators

All online predators do not talk to your child with similar intentions. They may have a different purpose. So to understand their aim, parents need to understand their types. Some of the types of online predators are listed below.

The Gatherer

These types of predators are not harmful to your teens physically. But they can cause them some mental problems. The gatherers collect all the media that contain pornographic content and use it against teens.

The Producer

The producers are usually people that use your kids to make some profit out of it. They use your kid's vulnerability to use them in making funny or pornographic content.

The Talker

The talker uses social media or cell phones as a medium to talk to their victims. They use their online interacting skills to manipulate their victim into doing their desired task.

The Voyager

These predators use online media to meet their victims in real life. After meeting the teens in real life they tend to complete their desired tasks using various methods.

Methods used by online predators

To protect your child from online threats, you must know the methods these online predators use. Internet safety is as important as physical safety and should not be left out. So here are the methods used by predators to make your child feel uncomfortable and manipulate them.

Phishing

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Phishing is the process of collecting private data from other people without their permission. Online predators use information about teens and make them feel comfortable. Since every detail about a person is listed online, it is easy to choose a target.

Phishing is the most common method used by these predators. Collecting teens' data that contains some pornographic content. And blackmailing them is done by using this method.

Mirroring

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Mirroring is the process of acting to understand someone's problem and using their vulnerability against them. Teens are emotionally fragile. Sexual predators use mirroring as an act. To emotionally support them and use them later.

Grooming

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Groomers are the most dangerous type of predators present online. These predators use the teen's risky behavior and emotional breakdown as their weapon. Groomers spend a lot of time collecting useful information about their victim and then take their step into crime.

How can you help your kids deal with online predators?

Overcoming online predators is hard because most of them are unpredictable. Most teens fall into their trap because of the problems they face at home and school.

Teens highly addicted to social media are also an easy target for these predators. Empowering parents is the most effective way to deal with these kinds of people.

Although parents guide teens themselves, sometimes they ignore their kid's feelings. And this makes it easy for the predators to throw their traps. Teens should also be taught some methods to stay safe from these weird predators.

Some of the methods the parents can use to help them. And their teens overcome the problems caused by online predators are listed below.

Teach Them About the Risk

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Most teens have no idea about online predators. They love to start a conversation with strangers with good intent. But they do not expect the stranger to be sexual predators.

Parents must briefly explain the risks involved while using the internet. So that your teens will be aware of online predators.

Help Them Get Over Their Addiction

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Teens addicted to social media and the internet are highly prone to attacks from online predators. Predators get a lot of time to manipulate social media addicts.

To stay safe from attackers, you should control or help your kids to overcome their addiction. And help them involve in real-life activities.

Create a Safe Environment

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As we all know, kids are very fragile and can frequently have an emotional breakdown. But this mostly occurs when the environment is not friendly and safe.

Creating a safe environment will not only help your kids to have good mental health. But also, it will help your kid to fight against bullies online. A safe environment enables teens to remain mentally well. And they are less vulnerable to online predators.

Tell Them you Always Have Their Back

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The best gift parents can give to their teens is having their teens back. When you don't criticize them for doing the wrong things and help them overcome problems, teens will always feel safe.

Whenever they get abused or bullies, they will always report you instead of falling into traps. And this will not complicate parents from getting involved in backing off these predators.

Tell Them to Keep Their Profiles Private

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Social media is the most used platform by online predators to find a target. Predators collect the data from their profile and analyze the victim they want to target.

To avoid this, you have to encourage your kids to keep your profile private. Teens should also understand that their private life should not be put on social media.

Use Parental Controls

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Most of the kids are embarrassed or feel ashamed to share these kinds of problems with their parents. They are afraid that their parents might criticize or shout at them.

If you feel something unusual about your teens, you might want to consider using parental control applications. Parental control apps enable you to watch your teen's activities online so that you will have a better understanding of the problems. And then you can create a plan to solve the problem.

Contact Local Police if the Problem Escalates

Sometimes the problems might escalate without your knowledge. And your kids might be on the brink of falling into the trap of online predators.

So it is always important to teach your kids about the local police and how they can help you. Always encourage your kids to call the police when they are in huge trouble.


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Juliya Smith

Hello, I am Juliya a mother of 2 children and a content editor at fenced.ai where I share parenting tips and guides on how to keep your child safe online.