Dangers of Online Predators

The Dangers of Online Predators and What Can be done to Protect Our Youth Marcos Williams CM 107: College Composition 1 Unit 9: Final Abstract This paper is to educate parents and children about the dangers of online predators. Predators are going to great links to prey on children and they are going to great links to hide their identity. Predators are hiding in cyberspace and they are lying in wait for children to go online so they can make their move on unsuspecting children. Law enforcement agencies and parents have to do whatever it takes to protect children and they should make sure that the necessary steps are taken.

Law enforcement agencies are using the media and they are hiding online to help capture these offenders. Parents should make sure that their home computers have the proper software, know who kids are friends with online, gain access to all emails kids use, make sure computers are visible at all times, and never turn a blind eye and think that this will never happen to their children. Kid’s safety is always a priority and they should be guarded at all times. I have chosen a degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Cyber-crimes to protect kids against online predators.

Educating parents and children about the dangers of online predators and discussing how law enforcement agencies and parents can protect our children is the first step. This paper will discuss what kids don’t know about online predators, how these online predators are hiding their identities from law enforcement, how law enforcement is cracking down on online predators, and most importantly, how parents can protect their kids against online predators. Kids do not realize that predators look for kids with a lack of self-esteem, kids that are vulnerable, and kids that are having problems at home.

These offenders meet children in public chat rooms geared towards teens and teens engaging in sexual subjects (Wolak, 2004). They will soon lure kids into private chat rooms or instant messaging. Some offenders lie about age and or sex to gain trust of children. Once trust is built, the predator introduces the child to pornography. This lowers the child’s inhibitions and desensitizes the child to nudity, and validates adult-child sexual relations (Berson, 2003). After all these things occurs, a face to face meet between the child and predator often follows, and the child is usually sexually abused or worse (killed).

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Some offenders create child-like avatars, go online and pose as teenagers. Predators use free Wi-Fi at public access points or connect to unsecure wireless routers installed in private residents rather than using their own personal accounts. They hide IP addresses by using proxy servers. Predators use “throw- away,” free e-mail accounts such as hush mails (private emails that children set up and hide from their parents) and counter surveillance methods. Offenders use pre-paid credit cards to hide any online transactions. They also steal IP addresses of business to avoid detection.

These measures that offenders are taking, is making it hard for law enforcement to track them down (NSCEPI, 2010). Law enforcement officers are posing as minors online and assuming different gender to catch online predators (Mitchell, 2005). There is also the media, like the television show “To Catch a Predator,” to catch and arrest some of these predators. Cyber Tip-lines have been formed so that if parents see anything that is inappropriate they can report it to law enforcement. The FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies have put together different types of operations to protect kids from online predators (NSCEPI, 2010).

Law enforcement officers are collecting and preserving all evidence of grooming, such as pornography, Web cameras, and other electronic equipment to bring down these predators (Brown, 2001). Law enforcement agencies across the nation are taking the necessary steps so that evidence can be given to the prosecutor and use at trial to show the perpetrator’s motivation (Brown, 2001). Parents should talk to their kids about the dangers of online predators. They should become computer literate and learn the lingo that children use online, PLS (parents looking over my shoulder), FTF (lets meet face to face), and other abbreviations.

Parents should put parental software on computer to monitor sites and keep kids off unsafe sites (Dombrowski, 2007). Home computers should be kept in a family room or kitchen so that parents can monitor and see exactly what sites the children are on. Parents should also discourage their kids from going into chat rooms, especially, private chat rooms with strangers. They should always make sure they know who all of their children’s friends are on the internet (Dombrowski, 2007). When a parent notices inappropriate material on their computer they should notify law enforcement immediately.

Parents should use all these measures plus become familiar with the internet and the language their kids use on the computer to protect them from online predators. I have chosen to get my Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Cyber-crimes to protect kids from online predators. In the Cyber-crime field I will be able to protect kids from online predators and educate parents and kids of the online dangers that lurk in cyberspace. Online predators are trying to manipulate and prey on children that are going through something in their home life.

Predators are getting smarter and wiser when it comes to lurking and preying on children through the internet. They are taking many precautionary measures to protect their identity from our kids and law enforcement. The FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies have put together task forces to stop online predators. Law enforcement have partnered with the television show “To Catch a Predator” to stop online predators. Most of the predators that are arrested on this show are men between the ages of 20 to 55 years of age. Law enforcement and prosecutors are doing everything they can to put these criminals behind bars.

Parents should take the necessary steps to protect their children from these types of predators. Parents need not turn a blind eye and think that their child will not become prey to predators while online. They need to get computer literate and learn the lingo that their children are using while they are on the internet. Parents need to educate their kids about online dangers and keep their computers in areas where traffic is heavy flowing. They also need to get the proper software on their computers to cut down the risk of predators getting to their children.

In summary, parents and law enforcement officials need to work together to educate themselves and kids about the dangers of online predators because online predators are doing whatever it takes to manipulate and prey on children. They are also doing whatever it takes to protect them from being identified and prosecuted. References Berson, I. (2003). Grooming Cyber victims: “The Psychological Effects of Online Exploitation for Youth” Journal of School Violence 2, no. 1(2003): 9-18 retrieved from: http://www. cs. auckland. ac. nzl~john/NetSafe/IBerson. df Brown, Duncan. “Developing Strategies for Collecting and Presenting Grooming Evidence in a High Tech World” Update (National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse), 2001, 1. http://www. ndaa. org/publications/newsletters/update_volume_14_number11_2001html Dombrowski, S. C. , Gischlar, K. L. , and Durst, T. “Safeguarding Young People from Cyber Pornography and Cyber Sexual Predation: A Major Dilemma of the Internet” Child Abuse Review 16, no. 3 (2007): 153-70 https://www. ncjrs. gov/App/Publications/abstract. aspx? ID=240947 Mitchell, K. J. , Wolak, J. , and Finkelhor, D. Police Posing as Juveniles Online to Catch Sex Offenders: Is It Working? ” Sexual Abuse: A Journal Research and Treatment 17, no. 3 (July 2005): 241-67 retrieved from: http://www. unh. edu/ccrc/pdf/CV82. pdf. National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction: A Report to Congress August 2010 http://www. justice. gov/psc/docs/natstrategyreport. pdf Wolak, J. , Finkelhor, D. , and Mitchell, K. J. “Internet-Initiate Sex Crimes against Minors: Implications for Prevention Based on Findings from a National Study. ” Journal of Adolescent Health 35, no. 5 (2004):11-20

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