27509199696_97aae6f301You never know who your talking to online, the internet has allowed predators to easily misrepresent and disguise themselves. This misrepresentation can lead to a dangerous situation when the predator lures a young person to meet with them in person.

In a recent study of young internet users between the ages of 10 to 17, one in five reported they had received unwanted sexual solicitations online, ranging from sexually suggestive comments to strangers asking them to meet them in the real world for sex.

Nationwide, 4,500 cases were reported to police last year in which predators used chat rooms to prey on young people. But child advocates suspect the actual number is much higher, since most incidents are not reported to the authorities.

A new kind of sexual predator is emerging: one who is technically savvy, targeting girls between 12 and 15 — especially vulnerable girls who write openly about their problems. Unfortunately, the predators can smell a child who is vulnerable.

Youth growing up in today’s world will be using technology the rest of their lives, so it is very important for parents to educate them in the proper use of the internet. Teach your kids what should not be discussed online. Knowledge is power and we must empower our kids with the information to navigate the internet safely.

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