You Think Your Child Is Safe From Child Porn & Exploitation?

I read an article in yesterday’s newspaper and I’m so unnerved by it that I just have to give a heads up by writing about it here.

We know that our children are big targets online, not only from perverts approaching them in chat rooms, myspace, etc., but also from some in the porn industry trying their darndest to expose our kids to as much porn as possible (to condition and mold them into future porn lovers and participants is my guess).

But did you know your kids are at risk of being subjects of child porn offline as well?

Many cell phones are now equipped with cameras and the article mentioned coaches sweeping locker rooms with cell phones in hand taking pictures to post online.

Showers at swimming pools, sports facilities and other public areas — kids pictures are being taken while they change and shower without them even realizing it.

Teenage girls have sexual encounters with their ‘boyfriends’, not realizing he’s setup a webcam or video to post online later (to sell and/or trade).

Not only are there people who want to sexually exploit our children for their own gratification…there are people that are very motivated to profit from it. Adults and teens alike.

The internet has provided a means for child porn and child exploitation to explode to levels we’re only just realizing. It’s organized, it’s financially lucrative–and our young people are being drawn to participate on some level. Sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.

What can we do to protect our kids?

A few things I’ve done:

Keep my son off peer-to-peer networks (where a lot of the porn is being shared and slipped to unsuspecting kids). He has a monthly allowance on iTunes that he can get his music from. It’s worth the $20 bucks a month dammit.

Games and software aren’t downloaded or installed until I check it out first. He’s 15 years old — prime target for this stuff.

No Myspace, No public chatrooms, No chatting online with anyone unless he knows them from school or sports – and no adults (other parents, older siblings, teachers, etc.).

I guess we could drive ourselves crazy with this stuff. But unfortunately too many pedophiles are very smart, very organized and we do need to watch out for each other and our kids. We need to be as aware as possible with what’s happening online (and off), keep talking to our children and make them aware in an age appropriate manner.

When did things get so crazy?

More reading and resources:

CyberTip.ca

CyberTipline

ChatDanger – How To Keep Safe While Chatting Online

Net Family News (Based on the premise that informed, engaged parenting is essential to kids’ constructive use of technology and the Net).

Parry’s Guide to Cyberbullying (Mentions kids taking pictures of other kids in the locker room, nude, etc.).

Through His Webcam, a Boy Joins a Sordid Online World

Child Pornography Sites Face New Obstacles

How best to protect kids from online porn

Christmas, Porn and Children

How about taking 5 minutes today to blog about or share in some way (forum posts, chat with co-workers, talk to our kids, etc.) the issues and dangers our kids are facing with online child exploitation.

It’s our biggest weapon to defending and protecting our own children and other young souls.

It’s a jungle out there.

admin

I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.