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Parents understand all of these dangers of online predators and certainly try to do their part at monitoring online activity. Most parents admittedly feel that their efforts probably are not enough to completely protect their children and wonder what else they can do to get that extra “piece of mind” we all want to have. The statistics just seem to get worse, however. Some parents may not be aware of the simple tips that they can use to help protect their children from these sexual predators. While you probably don’t want to place your child in a paper bag, you certainly do not want to ban them from all of their social networking, such as MySpace.

The bad thing about these social networking sites is that they are the perfect target for online predators to congregate. In addition, sites such as these provide a lot of personal information that is very accessible to the wrong kind of people. Things such as pictures and specific information about your child’s identity should not be visible as it can be very risky, to say the least. Fortunately, there are things that you can do as a parent to help protect your children when they are online.

Here are 5 tips to help protect your children from online predators.

1. Talk to your child about online predators. Teach your children regarding the many possibly deadly dangers of online sexual predators. Many kids are naive about online relationships and don’t fully understand the risks.

2. Seriously consider prohibiting your child from using chat rooms. Predators love chat rooms! These predators may pose as a child themselves to gain access to your child.

3. You should closely monitor their online activity if allowed to participate in any of the chat rooms and place the computer in a room that is common to everyone within the household. A very obvious tip, but many times overlooked, is that you should never permit your child to have the computer in their own bedroom.

4. Pay close attention to your child’s behavior. If something doesn’t seem quite right, ask MORE questions and always know exactly where they are going when leaving the house.

5. Set computer guidelines for your child such as requiring permission to download anything! Predators have a habit of sending sexually explicit material.

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