What Are Cyber Predators and What We Can Do About It?

What are cyber predators? An internet predator or cyber predator is like a sexual predator but that operates on the internet. They fake to be nice and try to obtain the trust of a young girl or boy so they can meet them in a private location online or offline. Most of the time they greet kindly like “Hey, how are you long time no see.”These persons try to sexually exploit children through the use of social media sites, like Facebook. Some of these individuals progressively seduce their targets through the use of attention, affection, kindness, and even gifts. They are often willing to devote large amounts of time, money, and energy in this process. They listen to and empathize with the children problems or other concerns. They will be aware of the latest music, hobbies, and interests of children. These individuals main goal is to meet with the victim offline. What are cyber predators doing to achieve their objectives? They are using the Internet to harm our children offline.What are cyber predators doing to track their victims? They are taking advantage of the photos we share online. Why is that? The answer is very simple, the photos we take with our Smartphone’s contain what is called geotag capabilities. This means that each photo has electronic information on it that can be used to trace our location. These criminals are well aware that the photos we share online provide them with location information that could lead them directly to your home and your children. Cyber predators are using technology for the wrong reasons. Scary, isn’t it?Cyber predators are capitalizing on the fact that just about anyone can get their hands on easy to use software which can pinpoint the exact location of where your pictures were taken. They are simply downloading free browser plug-ins like Exif viewer for Firefox or Opanda IExif for Internet Explorer. These programs help them identify of where the photo was taken, and helps them create a Google map with directions to your home.But what we can do to keep our kids safe? What are the tools we can use to keep these cyber predators away? The good news is that there are ways to eliminate the location information from your digital photos. You can disable the geotag function from your Smartphone. If you don’t know how to do this, check your phone user manual for details. There are websites that can show you how to do it. For me; the best tool is to install VPN (virtual private network) software with the capability to eliminate your location information. How does a VPN work? A VPN creates a secure tunnel through the Internet controlling the traffic to and from your computer or mobile devices. You create your own private Internet, and become anonymous online.But you know, the best tool to protect your children from what cyber predators are doing, is to be a good parent. Be close to them, listen to them, and be there for them. Parenting with a little help from technology will do the trick.

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