How To Find Out If Children Are At Risk Online
How To Find Out If Children Are At Risk Online
There was a film that I watched of a Teenage who was chatting with a stranger online. Because the girl was so inquisitive to know who the stranger was, she decided to arrange a meeting with the stranger. At the end of it all, She was almost physically molested by this stranger who happens to be his brother’s friend who wanted to take advantage of her. In this article, I want to tell you how to find if children are at risk online. Follow me as I will show you some of these tricks that you never knew.
Here are some of the signs that you will notice to show that they are at risks:
- The child spends more time seating at the computer
- Pornographic materials are present on the child’s computer
- The child receives phone calls and/ or gifts from unknown persons
- The child turns off the monitor or quickly changes the screen when the parent enters his or her room
- The child looks depressed and does not show any interest in talking with family and friends
How to protect children from online threats
- Ensure that your child knows about the dangers of computer sex offenders.
- Monitor what your child does on the computer.
- Use Caller ID on phones to determine who is calling the child, and block numbers that are suspicious
- Monitor the child access to all types of live electronic communications such as chat rooms, instant messages, internet relay chats among others.
- Restrict access to malicious and porn websites using internet content filtering software
- If the child is maintaining a social networking profile, look closely at what information they have posted on their member profile and blogs, including photos and videos.
- You have to check the credit account statements each month for any unusual changes that may indicate unauthorised purchases by a stranger or your child.
- You have to notify the police if someone the child met online start calling them, send gifts or trying to lure them for revealing sensitive information.
- You have to ensure that the child does not:
* Provide personal information such as name, address, phone, school name among others
*Open email from unknown strangers
* Share their photos/videos with strangers over the internet
Encourage children to report:
- Parent should encourage their children to report any inappropriate behaviour they may face online.
- The parent can encourage the child to come to them if they are being bullied or are facing predators online.
- The children may also be asked to speak to a trusted individual such as an aunt, uncle, or older sibling if they are uncomfortable talking to parents.
Internet crimes can be reported at:
You have to click on Report Internet Crime.
Actions To Take When Your Child Become A Victim Online
In my previous article, I have talked about some of the ways that children can become a victim of cyber prostitution online. This can affect them psychologically and may become non-active as they continue to live in fear. In this article, I want to look at some of the steps that you can take when your child becomes a victim online. Follow me as we will look at this step together in this article.
Here are some of the steps you can take:
#1 Report the offence to the Internet Service Provider
The very first thing for you to do is to report the case to the internet service provider. When you do that, it will be very easy for them to probe further or block that IP address from having access to their network.
#2 Change the online information
The next major step that you need to take in order to help the child is to change the online information of the child. You might need to have a closer look at his account online. This can give you a hint into what caused the problem in the first place. It will also ensure that the loopholes are blocked once and for all.
#3 No login
You have to encourage the child, not to log in to websites where bullying occurs. If he does not log in to the website where the bullying is taking place, he will be able to block the source of the threats. This will allow the child to stay safe for the time being.
#4 Ignore any calls from the online predator
There is a high tendency that the predator might start calling to demand compensation or other monetary benefits from the parents. Some of them might also resort to blackmail in order to get more money. You have to make sure that you avoid them and that you do not pick any of their calls.
#5 Block the offender
There is a need for you to block the offender’s email address and screen name so that they cannot contact the child. You need to blacklist them at all points so that your child can have peace. If possible, you have to report the matter to law enforcement agents in your area.
Security Software For Online Threats Protection
In my previous article, I have talked about some of the major threats that can happen to online users. In this article, I want to look at some of the security software for online threat protection for users. Follow me as we are going to look at that together in this article.
Children can be protected from online threats by installing appropriate security software on the child’s computers. Some of the features that parents should look out for include:
#1 Web blocking
This will help to prevent the children from viewing inappropriate content on a website. With this, you can prevent children from visiting specific websites.
#2 Program blocking
The program blocking feature can help to block games, peer to peer file sharing from happening between two computers. This will ensure that viruses are not transferred when sharing files.
#3 Email blocking
This is to help block unknown email addresses and prevent children from communicating with people they met online, through email.
#4 Time limits
This feature is to help control the amount of time the child spends on the computer. It can be used to limit children’s addiction to the computer.
#5 IM Features
This is to help in recording and monitoring the IM chats of the child, thus help the parent in determining if the child is engaged in an inappropriate dialogue with unknown persons.
#6 Usage Report
This is to provide a timely report on the child’s internet usage and IM history to monitor the child’s online interactions.
#7 VIdeo filtering
This is included in order to ensure that the child does not view inappropriate videos on websites such as Youtube, but at the same time allows the child to view useful/ fun videos.
Risks Involved In Social Media Websites
In my previous article, I have discussed some of the risks associated with surfing the website, most especially when it has to do with children watching pornography online. In this article, I want to look at some of the risks involved in social media websites. Follow me as we are going to look at that together in this article.
Here are some of the risks…
#1 Unhindered access
When you are on social media sites and you are sharing your video and other personal information on social media. You have to note that it is possible for someone to copy your pictures and other contents that you are sharing on social media without your content. Some of these contents can be used to commit a crime without your consent.
#2 Risky for children
Let me first state it here that this is not common to children alone, there are times that even adults talks too much on social media. If some people buy new cars or win new contracts, they will be so restless until they share such information on social media. This is a very bad habit, This is also common among children who can provide information to hackers unknowingly when they share too much information on social media.
#3 Online Predators
When you are on social media platforms, it is very easy for online predators to steal your personal information, They can now use this means to send you unsolicited emails. Some of the personal information that can be stolen include email, telephone number, residential address, hobbies, interest and more from their profile. Online predators may use the information stolen from you for cyberbullying, identity theft, or cyber exploitation among others.
Now some of the risks…
#1 Unsolicited emails
- Online predators may use email techniques to steal information from children.
- They may send spam emails that contain pornographic materials or link to pornographic websites.
- The child may even be asked to register on that website by providing personal information.
#2 Chat rooms
- Online predators may use chat rooms to build contact with children and then lead them to cyber prostitution.
- Online predators may use social engineering techniques to get personal information from children and adults in a chat room.
- They may also send a malicious link to children, which may result in computers getting infected with malware.
- They may also use chats to send links to websites with inappropriate content, such as pornography content.
6 Negative Impacts Of The Internet On Child Pornography
In my previous article, I have talked about some of the risks that are associated with surfing the web. In this article, I want to talk about some of the negative impacts of the internet on child pornography. Follow me as we are going to look at that together in this article.
#1 Easy access
one of the ways that the internet contributes to child pornography is that it makes it easy for children to have access to pornographic sites. At times, because parents do not monitor what their wards are doing with their phones or due to peer influence, they have been able to access pornographic sites without the consent of their parents. Some of these are done intentionally or unintentionally. I said some are unintentional because some of them find themselves on such sites and they are so engrossed with it. This makes them become a regular visitor.
#2 Anonymity and Privacy
One other negative impact of the internet on child pornography is that allows anonymity and privacy. If you are using the internet in your room, you are able to do all that you want to do without much interference. It is also possible to surf the web without leaving traces of what you did on your system. This gives children the leverage to visit pornographic sites without any fear.
#3 Sharing medium
One other platform that allows sharing pornography to grow is that email and social media platform allows the sharing of links that contains pornographic material. this allows those that do not know how to search for these pornographic materials to have free access to it.
Also, the internet provides a cost-effective medium to share pornographic material. You do not have to pay to access some of these pornographic materials on the internet. All that you need to have is data to access the internet. This makes pornographic materials spread like a wide fire. It would have been curtailed when people have to pay subscription fees before they could access the internet.
Another negative impact of the internet on pornographic materials is accessibility. With the internet at your side, you can easily access the internet and have access to pornographic materials without any hindrance. This also allows many people to have access to pornographic materials even though they do not have an initial interest in doing such.
#6 Transfer support
The internet, as well as different blogs and websites also support the transfer of pornographic materials in different formats and shapes. It also allows different blogs and website visitors to store pornographic materials so that they can access it later on their phones and other devices.
Effect of pornography on children…
- Child victim suffers from depression, anger, withdrawal, and other psychological problems.
- It may also lead to physical injuries due to molestation such as genital bruising or exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
- They may also experience mental weaknesses such as:
- Guilt and feeling responsible for the bruise and betrayal
- A sense of powerlessness and worthlessness
- Low self-esteem
5 Major Online Risks For Internet Users
in my previous articles, I have tried to look at some of the risks associated with online games generally. In this article, I want to look at some of the major online risks for users. As a user surfing the web, you might not know that you are connected to a network of networks. Therefore, if one system is infected and you do not have antivirus, you might also be infected. That is why you have to know some of these risks so that you can guard yourself against them. Follow me as we will look at some of these risks together in this article.
Here are some of the risks…
#1 Misdirected searches
Please note that parents may do all they could do to protect their children online, but all that could be negated when the child is unconsciously led to visit harmful websites. Please note that search engines use meta-variables to index websites.
When a user searches for websites, the search engine always displays the results using meta variables. Take, for example, a sports website that may be indexed by the meta term “soccer”, “football”, “scores” e.t.c.
Also, porn site promoters add popular search terms to their meta variable list so as to redirect the web traffic to their site. Porn site uses the words “sports”, “school”, “movie”, among others to lure children to their websites, unless filtering software is used, the search engines can not distinguish between the search requests of an adult and a child.
#2 Stealth Site and Misleading URL
There is also the problem of stealth site and misleading URL. First and foremost, pornographic websites thrive on misspelt websites to increase traffic. A pornographic site uses common typo errors to lure visitors to their websites. Children may end up at a pornographic site just by typing www.whitehouse.com instead of www.whitehouse.gov
Also, porn site promoters buy domain names such as the .com equivalent of a .gov or a .org website, being aware that web surfers would end up at their website if there is a typographical error.
#3 Child pornography
Under federal law, child pornography is defined as any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means of sexually explicit product, where the production of the visual depiction involve the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Grooming is an act of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with children. Child grooming is used for lessening the child’s inhibition and preparing them for child abuse.
The offenders target children through attention, affection, kindness and sympathy. At times, they may offer them money or attention.
Cyberbullying occurs when a child, preteen, is threatened, harassed, and/or embarrassed using the internet mobile phones or other communication media. Some of the signs include:
- Upset after using the computer
- Refuse to step out of the house or go to school
- Draw away from friends and family
How To Stay Safe When Playing Online Games
In my previous article, I have talked about some of the significant risks that are associated with online gaming such as cyber mugging and cyber prostitution among others. In this article, I want to talk about some of the facts that you need to know about how to stay safe when playing games online. Follow me as we are going to look at that together in this article.
#1 Recognise Administrator mode risks…
Some games require that you are in administrator mode before they can run on your system. Before you can take this risk, you have to make sure that you have downloaded the game from the Developer website. If not, you are only exposing yourself to risk.
Please note that free download of games may contain malicious software, including plugins to run the game. This software may be used to gain administrator-level control of the computer.
Instead of using the administrator account, the gamer is advised to browse the internet or play the game using a user account, which may deny the attacker access to administrator rights.
#3 Above all…
I will advise that you play the game only at the developer site. Also, you should never make the mistake of playing the game and surfing the web at the same time. Also, once you are done with the game, you can switch to a user account in order to surf the web. This will definitely reduce the risk of visiting a malicious website when playing a game.
Pay attention to firewall management
Playing certain multiplayer games may require the firewall setting to be changed to allow information from the game to get through to the gamers’ computer.
Every time the permissive settings are changed on the firewall, the risk of computer security concerns will definitely increase.
In the firewalls, the gamers can designate their fellow gamers’ IP addresses as trusted to avoid any interaction with the hacker. Before you take this action, you have to be sure that you are making the right decision that will not put you at risk.
How To Handle Cyber Prostitution And Others
First and foremost, there are many unlawful activities that happen online that can compromise the security of your devices. One of such is cyber prostitution and virtual mugging among others. In this article, I want to talk more about how to handle cyber prostitution and secure your network environment, Follow me as we are going to look at how to handle that effectively in this article.
#1 Protection Schemes
Protection scheme an organised scheme emerged from the South African Gaming Community. In this type of crime, criminal organisations force the gamer to protection schemes, where gamers have to pay money (virtual or real) to avoid killing the gamers’ characters and theft of their passwords.
#2 Cyber prostitution
In this type of online crime, online games are being used for cyber prostitution. here the customer or the gamer has to pay for cybersex. In this Sims Online, A Massively Online Player Game, A 17-year old developed a cyber “brothel” where the game pays “Sim-money” (Simolean) for cybersex per minute. The gamer’s account was eventually cancelled.
#3 Virtual Mugging
Virtual mugging was coined when some players of Lineage II used bots to defeat other gamers and take their items; these were later put on sales on online auction platforms.
How the malicious user makes money…
- They stole items such as passwords and other virtual items which are sold on websites such as ebay, or on forums.
- Items stolen are also sold to other gamers for real or virtual money
- The cyber-criminal may ask the gamer for ransom in return for real or virtual money
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