Cell phones provide an easy path to your child from sexual predators. You should know how to protect them.
Most parents know all about children, sexual predators and the Internet. We protect our children by installing firewalls and monitoring software and blocking software. We keep the computer in a communal area of the house and watch our kids when they are online. We think that we have done everything we can to create a wall between predators and our kids. But one think we fail to do, by the thousands, is to protect them from predators getting in through their cell phones.
Cell phone and text messaging devices are usually the very thing that parents purchase for their children so they can keep in touch and keep them safe. But unfortunately, they are also a way for predators to keep in touch as well.
The news is filled with stories of how sexual predators, usually adults that children know, use cell phone technology to their advantage, victimizing children. A recent case is playing out right here in Pennsylvania. A 26-year-old Physical Education teacher is accused of having sex with a 14-year old student. And cell phone calls and text messaging played a major role in the sexual abuse of this minor.
How do the predators get in? Predators reach your kids using a method called “grooming.” They take their time and relate to kids on their level, calling the cell phone or sending dozens of text messages a day, luring the kids into a false friendship that eventually leads to abuse.
What can you do about this? Program the cell phone to only allow calls to and from parents, and to 911. Only allow texting to take place with parents and siblings. Talk to your kids about predators and the many ways that they may try to lure your kids.
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.