Here are some signs that your child might be at risk:
Your child spends too much time online, especially late at night
Your child may be fond of staying online late at night because there is no one around who can monitor what they are doing on the internet. Instead of hanging out with friends, they would rather spend their time chatting with strangers using social networking sites, chat rooms, instant messaging and forums. When a child spends too much time online, they become more exposed to online predators and paedophiles.
You find sexually explicit material in your child’s computer
It is unusual for children to be interested in that type of material at a young age. If you find some on your child’s computer, it could mean that they are visiting sites that they shouldn’t be looking at, or someone is providing them with it. Online predators use pornographic material in order to start sexual discussions and seduction.
Most online predators will eventually want to talk to their potential victim on the phone, and often make arrangements to meet in person. Keep an eye on your child’s behaviour while on the phone – if they seem anxious or nervous while whispering on the phone, there might be something suspicious going on.
Your child receives gifts from someone you don’t know
Online predators often send letters, photos and gifts while building a relationship with their potential victims.
Your child becomes quiet and distant from family and friends
Kids who are lonely or emotionally detached from their family are likely to spend most of their time in search of love, care and attention. Online predators will take advantage and make the child feel like they care, while their family does not. This creates further tension with their family. Alternatively, kids may also become withdrawn after sexual victimization.