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Topic : Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

Number of Replies: 75
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Created on : Sunday, September 17, 2006, 12:05:20 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
With more and more children accessing the internet, safety is a key issue. What should you be aware of and how do you keep your own kids safe online? Share your tips and advice here.

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February 14, 2008, 6:45 pm CST

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

Quote From: momoftwogirls

 

Hello,

 

I would like to add a little information to your question. I have 2 daughters and I am married. We tell our children that everything they own we let them. for example my oldest daughter says things like this is her room. We say as long as it is in our house ,and u r not  paying the bills, then we lend it to u. I also, check up on them if the r going someplace, I stop by at any given time and they know this. Trust has to be earned in our home.I know this my sound harsh however, we feel that to many parents let their children have to much freedom and feel it is wrong to know what ur child is doing. we believe that it is a parents responsibility to know who our children are with, where they  r going, who they  r going to be with and when will they like to be home. If more parents did this , less children would be running the streets and using drugs.

 

 

My husband is an I. T. admin. I must tell u most employers have a person reading every email that is sent out in comes in at the work place. There is software in which u can buy that will "hack" all passwords on that network. I felt that this was a violation of privacy. My husband says its not only because u r not suppose to send personal emails at the work place and they have the right to read them if u do. Plus if someone is send child porn or  planning to give discounts to family members  or anything that is questionable the employer could be held responsible. The FBI has the right to pull any activity on any IP address they want for however many years they need. I think that all Internet providers need to have the ability to do this by May 2008, I could be wrong about the date. So in reality we as adults have no privacy because they randomly pull IP addresses and  see what activity is going on. So , if there is a person in the house hold looking at porn or anything questionable then the person who pays the bill could face heavy fines or jail time.

 

 I was thinking about this and I decided that if our children wanted email accounts then we would know the passwords, if they didn't want to give them to us then no email. the reason I feel this way is because with the Internet selling everything and all the "crazy" people out there we have to protect our children as parents. I have never looked into the email accounts as of yet, but if my daughters ever came up missing I would have them. I have checked to make sure the passwords are valid t from time to time to and that is it!

 But, I wouldn't think twice, about reading the emails if she changed in a negative way.

 

One last thing my space is NOT safe for any child or adult in my opinion. My sister in law children have pages. Their page is set up like this. In order to see the page u have to know the last name, once u enter that the page owner will either accept or decline ur permission. My husband was able to by pass this process in the matter of 5 mins. he said that anyone who knows about Internet and computers could do this, this became a huge concern for me. I spent a little bit of time looking at my space and there are a large amount of pre-teen and teens who have these pages, they didn't have the blocked pages for people who don't know them. If u have noticed that more children are getting in trouble or becoming missing have had a my space page. This even goes for adults. I only hope that more parents say no to my space. I know it is a lot harder to be a parent verses a friend but ,our children need us to provide a safe and loving homes. I believe that if ur child never gets upset with u for saying no or asking to many questions then u r not doing ur job.

Firstly, as to the point of trust - it seems to me that trust, in your house, is not so much to be earned as to be eternally hoped for without any true chance. Your implication is that the change towards trust can be made, but it seems rather obvious to me that it is clearly not a matter of trust. You are simply a Stalinist, a person who believes people are not to be trusted but rather to be controlled. I am not to judge this, of course, but do not lie to yourself or to us - that is hardly a productive policy.

Nextly, you seem to draw a very, very strong difference between children and adults. I am not to be mistaken to be saying that children and adults are not to be differentiated between. I only find it humorous that when you are placed in that position of power over your children you are very much in favor of totalitarian rule, but when you are placed in the position to be under that power it is simply unacceptable.

As for myspace, two words - chill out. You cannot live in fear of life - there is always going to be danger to all things. There is no information on anyones myspace that wouldn't be readily available. If someone were to come to you in real life and ask you where you grew up, I doubt you would begin an in-depth interrogation of their intent - I have yet to see anyone post there social security number on their myspace profile.

Also, as for children "getting into trouble" or "going missing" due to myspace, I would very dearly love to see the research basis for that. I follow internet news rather closely, and I have never heard so much as a suggestion that that might be true, far less something truly noticeable as proof.

I hate to be contentious, but you seem to have made some rather dubiously based conclusions, and I must say I would suggest that, before you attempt to present your opinion for emulation, you attempt to put a bit more thought and research into it. Far more than that, before you begin to enforce such things upon your children I would most definitely place a bit more time into the pursuit of insight.
 
February 14, 2008, 6:53 pm CST

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

Quote From: we3kings2001

 there is this great program for parents that is called eblaster...  it is a program that you put on your child's computer while they are out and it sends you emails of everything they do on-line .. every chat every key stroke every web site and the best thing is they do not know and cant find it on there computer it in invisible to them... i love and that is how i found all the horrible horrible things my son has been doing
The problem that you are going to run into with that program, besides the obvious moral issues, is that it is going to slow down the computer considerably, particularly when it comes to internet applications. The reasons for this are comnplicated and irrelevant, so I will not waste your time with them. The pertinent point is that, unless your child is very young and inexperienced, they will immediately pick up on this.

The natural response will be to run a spyware search on the computer. Since that program is technically spyware, although it is intentionally installed, it will come up designated as an "invisible program." Any spyware scanner worth it's salt is going to be able to remove such programs within a matter of moments. They will also be able to view the name of the program. This will lead to one of several conclusions. Either your child will confront you about your behavior, creating turmoil within the family, or they will simply remove the program and wait for you to notice the lack of data.


Moral of the story, don't try to trick people who know more than you about the subject on which you are attempting to trick them on. Be direct, deal with your children as people, and remember that eventually they will be forced out into the world (sometime around 6 yrs old as they enter kindergarten) and you will be unable to moniter them at all times.
 
February 15, 2008, 2:27 am CST

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

Quote From: luvmylife2k

no webcams PERIOD! They are only used to see outward apperence.

 

Put computer in a room where you, the parent, can walk by at any time.  This will keep kids from being places they shouldn't be.  which brings me to..

 

No Chatrooms PERIOD!  Your kids had friends before internet. (If your kids are laking in the friend department, try to find organizations in your community with potential of meeting new friends)  You still have a telephone, tell your kids to call thier friends.

 

Ask your kids-friends-parents to monitor the internet in THIER homes as well.  If they dont see the "problem"  ask them not to let your child use the internet at their house.

 

Remember your children can go to the library to use the internet.  They really DONT need it at home.

 

Parents need to use thier natural radar systems.  If something seems wrong, it probably is.  I hope my advice seems helpful, and doesn't sound too much like I took it straight from an episode of Dr. Phil (which some of it probably did)..:)

 

 

Webcams being used to see outward appearence seems to be both obvious and rather besides the point. I don't think anyone would argue that a webcam provides a window into someones soul. Rather, they enhance the ability of someone to have a more meaningful conversation with their friends - the ability to see facial expressions is a large part of human communication. Telephone conversations will never quite replace face-to-face, and webcam is basically the same thing.

Chatrooms can be eschewed without harming your children, no question. That being said, if you do that I think it would be well-advised that you require them to no longer leave the house except for school, and not speak to people unless it is required for academics. This is because, since the outside world is far more dangerous, and statistically far more likely to create abduction situations, it stands to reason that if you are going to eliminate one threat you should also eliminate all those threats of a similar type which are of greater significance.

Parents should definitely use their natural radar. This is the best defence you can have, as far as something the parent can do directly - it is a massive improvement over the Stalinistic ideals (not saying your suggestions fall into that category) which have been portrayed on this board in the recent past.
 
February 15, 2008, 2:32 am CST

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

Quote From: we3kings2001

 I am not sure if this is where i  need to be and i am sure this will come out as rambling...  Ok i have a son that is 17 and for the last 6 or so months he has been sliding down this hill.  Ok he has gotten into Satanism or how ever you spell it..  Has this hero  MARLIN MANSON !!!  and i am calling him a predator because this is what i feel he is...  My son read his book and if anyone one has read it it is very very cult like and it brain washes ...  two weeks ago we found writings and in one of them it very graphically described how he was going to torture and kill his father and i. well Sunday he tried to kill his father and i had to have my son who i have loved and protected his whole life arrested and put in jail.. It was not my son that did this horrible thing it was this thing i am not sure what to call it but it was this devil like thing that took over my sons body... i never would have believed if i had not seen it with my own eyes... i need help and i am not sure how to go about getting it or even if there is any help...  i need to save my son from this man ... and this man needs to be outed for what he is...  If anyone has any advise please do so...  thank you !!!
Marilyn Manson's book is intended to be a tongue-in-cheek satire of the "darkness culture" and so-called brainwashing techniques. If your child was swayed by this, then (and please do not take offence) he probably had these issues long before. If the average child were to read this, they would either a) get the reference and find it humorous or b) find the assertions rather moronic and ignore the philosophy.

I would look more to your childs well-being within himself. As had been said earlier, it seems likely that he is mentally ill, and I would definitely have a psychologist or psychiatrist examine him. That being said, and again do not take offence, you may wish to consider the possibility that your husband has done something to him. A reaction like that seems very out of place happening without warning, even from a mentally ill child. Is there any chance your husband may be abusing him behind your back? Just throwing out the thought, I do not know the child or his father, so I cannot even begin to accuse or impune, I just want to throw the suggestion out there just in case. It would be a very big problem if you were to punish or institutionalize your child when it was, in fact, an issue with your husband.
 
February 16, 2008, 1:19 am CST

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

Quote From: scenceable

I know everyone in this thread (and board) are parents or older people. so, I figure, I'd give you all a different point of view.

 

I'm 16. I go on the 'net A LOT. Reading through some of your posts and points of view, it seems so far off from the reality of the internet.

 

Now, I do have a few different internet blogs, and use many chat sites. Most sites like this have capabilities to restrict who views and contacts you. I personally am extremely protective of who I talk to online, and what personal information is available. This does not mean, however, that I am going to go to extremes like never posting a photo of myself, or never talking to someone I haven't met online.

 

I guess I can understand parent's concern for their children, but in all honesty, it really matters how the specific user acts and dictates themselves online. If your kid goes and posts publicly on myspace or whatever and gives out personal information, then they're setting themselves up for possible internet stalking. I don't think making your kid go to a library or watching them online is the solution at all. That's just extremely strict and pointless; and will make your child resist you and loose respect for you.

 

If you want your kids to listen and be smart online (i.e. stay off public chat rooms and don't talk to people they don't know) then maybe you should talk to them like people instead of imposing a whole ton of rules, and gain their respect. Ask them about what they're doing, make them comfortable in talking to you. Then if they ever have a problem about something happening online (like getting weird emails or whatever) then they're more likely to come ask you for help then try to do it on their own.

 

The reason people seek companionship online is because of a lack of support offline. The solution isn't banning the internet; the internet is beneficial for children to a degree. You have to talk to your children about how to be on the internet, be informed, and be supportive. Kids want to be talked to like people, not talked down to.

 

One thing I agree with for sure is keeping the computer in the living room. But thats the same for any electronic appliance, TV, video games, etc. should always stay out of bedrooms. That's just my opinion, it allows too much freedom.

 

anyhow, I hope that did give some insight, I'm just posting my opinions. :)

 Thank God for someone speaking sense. I only hope that the rest of the 30+ around here can get over themselves long enough to realize that they simply don't know everything there is to know about everything, and that technology is always going to be the domain of genX.

I do have to say, however, that even you seem to have gone a little bit too far into the apparent dangers of the internet. I won't rerun my rant about the so-called prevalence of internet predators, I am sure anyone can find it pretty quickly. I will say, however, that this continually recurring idea that children need "less freedom" is deeply troubling to me. It was bad enough when I was facing off with Stalinistic parents on it, but now to find that there are actually genX supporters of that concept is truly frightening to me. It isn't that you are saying that it is necessary for their safety; your assertion is that there is truly such a thing as excess freedom. If you read the writings of Stalin or Mousselini you will find concepts which stand in stunning line with the things one finds on this board. The concept that people were not meant to have but a certain level of freedom, that they cannot handle anything more. I suppose the difference may lie in the fact that children are not seen as people, at least not entirely. Stalin treated <i>everyone</i> as children, saying that they needed parent-esque supervision at all times in their lives. You simply choose to take his definition of a child and apply it to your own children, be they literal or rhetorical.

I do, however, have some respect for you. You have done a great deal better job summing up your logic than most others here, and there actually seems to <b>be</b> some logic there. Think over what I've said, won't you?
 
February 23, 2008, 5:27 pm CST

Parents who don't know what they childen are doing online

Small warning of spellingmisstakes and stuff like that.

Something that I can get really disturbed about is when everyone talks about Pedophiles as they would have any interesting in everyone under a age of 30 years. Pedophiles like pre-pubertal kids. Also, before the kids accually come into the puberty, or shortly after. Most real pedohiles probobly don't even like 15yo old 'kids'. Hebephiles are those who have the sexual desire for teens/young ppl in the puberty. I think its weird to call someone a pedophile just be because he/she are for ex 23yo and likes 17-18yrs old "kids". Its just 4yrs between them. I know that lots of guys, even married ones, even those with kids half my age (~9-10yrs) that like to watch teenagegirls or young adult girls. Not necessary 17-18yr olds but nowadays its hard to tell how old someone accually are. There are lots of 12yr olds who looks like 16 or even older! Whoever, I could never call any of those guys for pedohiles, if however I decide to call them something it would be hebephilies.

If I was living in America, I could have been sueing lots and lots of guys. A girl, of any age can't go online to a comunity or forum without getting any disturbing proposal. I've probobly chatted with thousends and thousends of these guys (even some girls). I got online -98 when I was 10yrs old. In just a few months I had "cybersex" for the first time (didn't know what it was, thought it was boring and didn't understand anything about it). Had "phonesex" with some guy from the net for the first time as 12yr old, still didn't care so much about it (what is it to care about anyway, a guy in the phone who moan loud, still find it very boring). I know alot of 12yr old girls who go to chatrooms there 90% of the chatting people are there for find someone to have somekind of sexual-thing with. But these girls are just make fun of all the others. Its probobly the best way of staying out of "trouble" like that. Anyway at a age of 13-14yrs old I tought I had to get rid of the virginity to be normal in some kind of way. Meet a guy from an online community  who was at least 25yrs old. Nothing like sex never happend, im glad for that now. He was quite disgusting but I would never call him a pedophile for that. It could whoever have been prevented, if my mom and I would have better communication with each other.



Nowadays Im a volunteer at two online comunitys, one with 8-14yr old kids and one with 14-22yr olds. One thing that I can say for sure, is that to few parents know what their kids are doing when they are online. More parents need to get involved with their kids internet activities. Don't force them to share their passwords with you (learn them to keep the password safe to anyone even if someone ask for it, even if someone says that they are going to give them whatever they want for their sites).
*Become a member at the same sites as your kids.
*Never ever get a webcam for a kid, it will not end up in a good way. I know that many cellphones has camras in it nowadays but webcam are easier to use in a bad way.
*If it is a game that the kids are playing be awere of/warn about others who wanna make an exchange pictures of/parts of your kid for ex. 100 gamemoney (have seen messages of this type in one of 'my' sites, "I give you preniummembership if you show your feets in cam").
*If they have a camra of any other type, tell them what they are allowed to take pictures off (and at the same time its possibile to give them a new hobby, ex. taking pictures of flowers, dogs, landscapes).

Maybe it would be good to cregate an internet alterego for the childen. So they never give out their real identity. Don't know for sure if thats a good idea yet (have not think about it).
 
March 3, 2008, 6:37 pm CST

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

i've been on message boards since i was 13 so close to 3 years now. i have to say my closest friends i've met through the internet.

we had a group on a singer's website for all of us under 18 and we all instantly bonded. after a few months my parents actually ENCOURAGED me to talk to some of them on the phone. yes, most people didn't agree with this either and while i know there's ways of changing voices it gave me and my parents a sense of hey, these are REAL teenagers i was talking to.

i met my first internet friend about 8 months after talking to them at a concert. my dad met her mom and we just hung out before the show. a few months later we were both going on weekend trips on the same weekend it turned out and my dad allowed me to go see a local band with her and her mom.

i've sense flown to Houston to see her, and then again a few weeks later to her new house in Arkansas where one of my other friends from Tennessee was also visiting.

while these girls are my age(some i still haven't had the chance of meeting) some of my casual friends i've met on other message boards range from the ages of 20-50's. we've all been out to dinner together before concerts, with my dad of course there with me. we all talked like a huge group of friends. my dad was getting along with them great and we had an amazing time. these people are my second family.

i know i'm obviously not the ONLY person that has been so fortunate to have this amazing opportunity to have made such good friends through the internet and i understand at the same time you have to be safe. i don't even use my real last name on Myspace for that reason. sometimes i think people give Myspace, chat rooms, and other forms of communicating and meeting new people on the internet a bad rap. not everyone is bad people!!!
 
March 21, 2008, 1:45 pm CDT

It is up to parents.....

There is nothing wrong with kids/teens having an account on either facebook or Myspace as long as the computer is in a "public" are of the house where mom or dad can monitor the child/teen.    Their pages need to be made "private" and no info about where the person lives should be displayed. (Ok so the state/province and counry can be listed.)    

As far as people meeting their "friends" on myspace - DUGH!  I think that is not a wise thing to do.   Very very unsafe no matter the age of the person.     I'm in my 30's and I would not DREAM of meeting up with anyone of my myspace friends (those i don't know)   Some of those peole on Myspace are extremely creepy - I had one person message me cuz he "liked" my pic etc and contiued to flatter me (what a bloody line)   Any stranger that calls me beautiful .... i don't think so!    This guy really creeped me out with what he wrote - (it wasn't sexual, but it was creepy)  I deleted his post and sometime later, I got another one with similar overtones.

    I don't care if you are a  15 or 18 year old - meeting up with a stranger you meet on myspace is dangerous - who knows TRULY who they are!   So teens who think their parents are being invasive when they look at your myspace profile or whatever - they are only doing so because they care. 

Parents need to take the responsibility to drill into their kids head about these dangerous situations.  I am so sick and tired of hearing about so-and-so missing because she went out to meet someone she met online and then she disappears!      It is also the teens responsiblity not to be dumb enough to meet someone they 'met'   online no matter how long you've been communicating.  Seriously - the guy could portray himself as a 16 year old - but in reality they could be a 50 year old pedophile!

Ok Rant over.


 
May 9, 2008, 10:31 am CDT

CHILD PRONOGRAPHY

I am SICK of this bullsh*t being allowed to happen. I am posting this for all parents, grandparents, caregivers and any one else who cares about children to expose this website for ALLOWING child pornography! These people are sick individuals and I am going to tear them down. I am tired of these perverts getting away with anything and everything. Just read the comments on this site. You'll feel rage just by the first question.

http://preteenmodels.vox.com/profile/
 
May 11, 2008, 11:43 am CDT

Safeguarding Your Kids from Internet Predators

I'm pretty sure if you educate your children well about the danger of internet, then  the risk of falling into the hands of internet predators will decrease.
I've been on the internet since I was 14, without supervision of my parents or anything and I've had my share of predators trying to contact me. I just didn't fall for it cuz I simply knew it means danger.
It's funny when they think they 'caught' a victim while I always used to report them to webmasters. Internet is a dangerous place and people can't be trusted. You can simply turn into anyone on the net.
I turn myself into a 14 year old again to locate those pervs and get them deleted from websites before they start doing harm to kids. I can easily pass for 14, cuz I still look 14. But even when you're 20 years old, predators still contact you. I still get dirty messages sometimes. Too bad for them I'm smarter
 
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