Is your child at risk online? Here are five questions for parents to reduce the risk that your child would become a victim of online exploitation, sextortion, or sex trafficking.  

 

What is your child’s age and gender?

    • Teens and preteens (11-15) are most vulnerable as they are most curious about sex and most naïve about predators.
    • Girls are targeted and exploited 5 times more than boys.
    • Talk to her about making friends online and sharing photos. 

Have you reviewed the apps, messages, calls, and images on your child’s phone?

    • Look for unusually suggestive images or conversations. Talk about it with your child.
    • Do her conversations include new slang, or her appearance become overly sexualized?
    • Does your child not allow access to her device? Is she becoming isolated or hiding their device?

Is your child meeting new ‘friends’ that they’ve only known through the Internet?

    • Does she know them in real life? Do they strive to get many followers or to become famous?
    • Does she have a new boyfriend —particularly an older one? Is she hiding a boyfriend or not willing to introduce family or friends to him?
    • Is she prone to run away, perhaps to meet her friend?

Have you searched for dangerous apps on your child’s phone?

    • Predators know which apps parents screen and will move the conversation with your child to another account or a secret chat app. Look for these 20+ Most Dangerous Apps
    • Does your child have a second device and/or multiple accounts on social media?
    • Consider getting apps that detect dangerous apps, monitor app use, and do location tracking with alerts, like the OffenderWatch SVN App.

Have you had a conversation with your child on online safety, how they choose friends, and how to respond should anyone make them feel uncomfortable or suggest something inappropriate?