Your kids put themselves at great risk when they start communicating online with people they do not know in person. Sexual predators are present everywhere on the internet. Be it social media platforms, online forums, or gaming platforms. They can be anywhere, looking to target young and innocent kids. These predators intentionally visit the platforms that kids frequently visit and then lure them in their trap.
Gone are the days when parents had to worry about their kids getting kidnapped by a predator while in a mall or a playground. The internet has allowed predators to target your kids without ever being near them. With a simple message on a social media site, they can target them easily.
The ultimate goal of the sexual predator is to lure the kid in their messages so they can arrange an in-person meeting and engage in sexual relations with the kid. One of the best ways to prevent a sexual predator from getting in touch with your kid is to spy phone messages of your kid with a monitoring app.
Identify How Sexual Predators Groom Kids Online
Sexual predators are prudent. They target kids on the internet in unimaginable ways. However, you can still recognize the signs of online grooming.
A predator can reach out to your kid on the internet, cultivate a relationship with them which then concludes in sexual abuse such as capturing sexual photos of the kid, sending sexually explicit messages, sexual abuse in person, trafficking, and sextortion.
The predator makes cautious moves and takes the grooming really slowly. They first build a relationship with kids so they can gain their trust. When they become friends with them, they manipulate them to do inappropriate things later. Basically, they conceal their ulterior motives from the kids by appearing to be nice and gentle towards them.
Below, we have outlined ways sexual predators target and groom innocent kids on the internet. Beware of your kid’s online activity and regularly monitor them so you can learn if anything goes wrong with them on the internet.
Targeting Kids on the Internet
Predators watch out for innocent and vulnerable kids on the internet, especially those who are emotionally weak or have less parental supervision. They first have pleasant conversations with the kids to make them feel good and try to gain their trust. They initiate chats on public platforms such as chat forums or gaming platforms and pretend to be of their age.
Engaging with Kids
Predators engage with kids on the internet in ways nobody can engage with them. They try to fill the need of the child which has been left void for some reason. They give them time, attention, and listen to their problems. Sometimes, they even buy them gifts to make them feel important.
It is important to remain aware of the gifts your kids might receive from other adults, especially electronic gadgets, as these may be handed over to your kids so the predators can communicate with them without any trouble.
Testing the Boundary
Now, the predator will try to strengthen the bond that they share with the kid and also assess the level of threat that he’s facing from the kid’s parents. He will try to ask the kid how closely their parents monitor their devices or their internet usage.
When kids happen to have a relationship with some stranger online, they become more secretive about their internet activity and may try to hide it from their parents. At this time, parents need to gauge if their kids are showing any behavioural changes so they can know if they are doing something wrong online.
Isolating the Kids
The predator’s next agenda is to isolate the kids from their family and attempting to become the most important person in the kid’s life. He will do his best to gain the trust of the kid and convince them that what they share is special. He will also try to create emotional distance between the kid and their family. You need to watch your kid closely to see if they are acting strangely lately.
Sexualizing the Kid
In the next step, the predator tries to culminate his relationship with the kid in sexual activity. He will persuade the kid to meet him in person so they can carry out sexual activity with them. While they are interacting with them online, even them they engage with them sexually by demanding sexually explicit images and videos from the kid.
However, the experience becomes quite different when the predator meets the kid in person and carries out sexual activity with them. As a parent, you need to make sure that your kid never reaches this stage. You need to monitor their text messages with the help of a mobile spy app to find out if they have been making plans to meet some stranger outside their house.
Controlling the Kid
Last but not least, when a predator gains the kid’s trust completely and also meets them, he will go to the far extent to exert control over the kid and make sure the kid has become completely emotionally dependent on him. The predator can collect the kid’s data in the form of inappropriate images and videos and may even try to blackmail the kid and his family. Sometimes, the predator may even sell that content to the dark internet for a good price.
You need to look out for the above-mentioned signs and find out whether or not your kid is engaging with an online predator behind your back. You need to give your kid enough space so they can come to you if a stranger reaches out to them online and asks them to do something they are not comfortable with.