There are a number of signs that parents whose children venture online should watch out for. You know your child better than anyone else; so follow your instincts!
If your children quickly change screens or turn off the monitor when you come into the room, it is likely they are viewing something they don't want you to see. Be calm and ask them to share what they are viewing with you. If the content is inappropriate tell them politely that they should not view the material. Do not reprimand the child without first talking to him/her.
If your child suddenly starts receiving phone calls from strange adults (or even other children) you may have a problem on your hands. Install a caller ID program to determine where the calls are coming from and ask your child to explain them.
If your child suddenly has unaccounted cash or gifts, or unfamiliar clothing, there may be something for you to worry about. Offenders seeking to harm children often spend a great deal of money cultivating a relationship / friendship with a child in order to gain their confidence and trust.
If you notice that your child has of late been keeping away from friends and family especially after the use of the Internet then you should be a little careful. Paedophiles and other offenders looking to target children work very hard to drive a wedge between children and the people who support and care for them. The larger the gap between the child and his family, the easier it is for a predator to create a relationship.
If you sense that your child has been acting strange of late and that his/her friends do not visit that often, make the attempt to speak to his/her friends and ask them if anything is wrong. Do not interfere too much though. Sometimes your child’s friend could also visit quite often, be wary if the purpose of the visit is to view inappropriate material online.
However, you must also respect the privacy of your child. Be tactful in handling any situation. These are a few signs that should concern you as a parent. Getting hysterical or making accusations will not help the situation though.
It is your job as the adult to remain calm and to try to figure out what has gone wrong – and find a solution to the problem too! Child pornography or any other illegal activities directed at children may be reported to the nearest police station.