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Sexual Predactors in Cyberspace

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Submitted By scotty123
Words 2317
Pages 10
Allia Scott
Mr. Cohen
2nd Period/Adv. 103
November 1, 2011

Sexual Predactors in Cyberspace

All Americans are different. They have different religions, beliefs and customs. Different people have different hobbies such as playing sports, hanging out with friends or even just surfing the web. Surfing the web is the most common hobby among young Americans. There are many things you can do on the web. Some of the more notable things that you can do on the web are watch videos, e-mail, research and social networking. Social networking sites are is more popular among children and teens. (C. Hansen, MSNBC). Social networking sites are mainly used for dating and chatting, with family and friends also with people you don’t know. One of the more common questions, asked by many parents are, “Is the social networking and chatting sites your using safe?” Many people believe that online chat rooms and social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Tagged and Downlink are hunting grounds for many sex offenders and predators. The fact that you can meet sexual predators and sex offenders anywhere at any time of the day slips through people minds. A lot of children and teens interact with predators on websites due to the way that they conduct themselves in chat rooms, the people they socialize with and the amount of personal information that they put on the sites. Promoting online safety has become proiorty with recent explosive popularity of social networking websites. A quick word of advice for parents of young children or teena is to use parental guidance and keep locks on websites. The Internet has become a popular place for adolescents especially when they have a difficult time making friends where they live and at school. (‘K. Ramsland, TruTv’). Every family should be concerned about online sexual predators as these predators are increasing in numbers on the Internet. Statistics indicate that one out of every five children, at the very least will be exposed to an online predator or some sort of offensive material. (‘Sentry Pc’) The federal health and human services department reports 900,000 cases of child abuse annually. (‘Sexual Predators US’). Currently, there are over 600,000 registered sex offenders in the United States; an estimated 150,000 have been lost in the system. Two thirds of all victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were 6 years of age and younger. (Sexual Predators US’) It is estimated that nearly seventy million U.S households or 57% of American house holds have a web-connected computer .(‘Austincc Edu’). One out of four teen girls reported that they met and chattd with strangers on the Internet. One out of seven boys admitted they did as well. (‘Wired Safety Org’). “Peter Chapman was a registered sex offender and was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping, raping and killing Ashleigh Hall. She was 17 and whom Chapman courted and lured to her death using Facebook.” (C. Smith, Huffington Post). The state lawmakers and local police are looking to keep convicted sex offenders from online social network such as MySpace and facebook where authorities says sexual predators now roam looking for victims. Deputy Jessup Schroeder with the Clinton county sheriffs was trained with funds from the Internet crimes against children task, a federal program that funds training for law enforcement officers to learn how to go online undercover to catch sexual predators. Different groups in society should take greater steps to prevent sexual predators from having access to children on social networks and across the internet. Parents should be more actively involved in their children’s lives and help to improve their children’s self esteem so that they will not become victims of sexual predators. Who are these Predators? These online sex offenders are usually clean cut, white males living a somewhat lonely life. These white males are educated individuals who blend very well into society. (Internet Safety Advisor). They hold respectable jobs and take part in normal everyday activities. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). These characteristics make them seem normal and give off the illusion that they do not have a problem. These dangerous people pretend to be another teen or preteen that be friends and gains your childs trust. Many convicted sex offenders have pages on facebook, a social networking site popular among college and high school students. Investigations have also found naked pictures on sites used for attracting more viewers. These child molesters are persuading the children into performing sexual acts on web cameras and posting it on the web for them to see. These children, molested by Internet sexual predators, went willingly to a meeting. They may have thought they were meeting a cute fourteen-year-old boy or girl, but they didn’t know the person in real life. Intimacy and trust can develop quite quickly online, as the Internet is a pretty anonymous tool. (‘ByMoms’). Predators will take advantage of this and with young people because they do not have the experience or the wisdom to understand how the mind of a sexual predator works. Is there a Warning sign that can tell if a teenager or a child is a potential target for sexual abuse? The Most obvious sign would be if a child spends too much time on social networks or chatting sites. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). When children are on these sites for long periods of time, without being monitored they may put themselves in unsafe situations such as, giving away personal information or a phone number. Another sign may be if the child or teen begins to act suspicious and do things like hang up the telephone when a parent walks in or quickly closing a website page when someone walks in the room. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). This could be dangerous because you never know who the young individual is conversing with and where they met them. Low self esteem can also drive a person to these social networks and chat sites making them more likely to become victims. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). When an individual has low self-esteem, they turn to these social networks because they can create a new identity making them more appealing to other people. The predators on these sites perceives the impression that their interested, making the child or the teen feel confident about themselves. Are you providing a listening ear to your child? (‘Free Press Release’) Online predators are. Children who have parents who neglect them are the main ones who fall into the traps of sexual predators. (‘Talare US’). The online predators will convince your children that they have listening ear, treat them like grown ups and make them feel special. One out of five teenagers, who regularly log on to Internet, says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the web. 25% of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online. (‘Predators, Puresight Online’) Low self esteem can also drive a person to these social networks and chat sites making them more likely to become victims. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). When an individual has low self-esteem, they turn to these social networks because they can create a new identity making them more appealing to other people. The people on the sites become interested, making the child or the teen feel confident about themselves. Could a child’s behavior online be attracting sexual predators? Are teens with provocative photos and screen names more likely to attract offenders? Does joining sites where lots of bad language is used or trashy websites where children openly talk about sex attract these criminals? Many teens and children who fall under the influence of these bad websites attract many followers and viewers, many of these viewers being perverted. (Internet Safety Advisor). Many of these teens are unaware of the attention that they are receiving and some of them do not seek the attention. Teenage females post nude pictures on these social networking sites and invite too many strangers to view their profiles. Young males often do the same. Predators get access to them and then try to gain their trust hoping to soon meet them. Parents should help protect their children by monitoring and controlling their children’s internet activities.Children should be warned about potentially dangerous people who may try to become friends with them online. The computer should be kept in an open space in the house instead of in a child’s room. A child’s behavior online can be monitored at all times by the parents to make sure that their children are safe. Parents can also check the history of the computer to see when sites their children sre searching. Is there a Warning sign that can tell if a teenager or a child is a potential target for sexual abuse? The Most obvious sign would be if a child spends too much time on social networks or chatting sites. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). When children are on these sites for long periods of time, without being monitored they may put themselves in unsafe situations such as, giving away personal information or a phone number. Another sign may be if the child or teen begins to act suspicious and do things like hang up the telephone when a parent walks in or quickly closing a website page when someone walks in the room. (‘Internet Safety Advisor’). This could be dangerous because you never know who the young individual is conversing with and where they met them. Parents should help protect their children by becoming involved in their children’s Internet activities. Monitor your child’s access to all live electronic communications. Instant messaging on the computer has become the telephone for many teens today. Teens spend hours chatting online with their friends and people that they want to become friends with. (C. Hansen, MSNBC). Parents should teach their children more about internet safety and warn them of sexual predators online. How to protect your child from these sexual predactors? What are some tips to protecting your child? The first step is to communicate, and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger. The second step is to spend time with your children on-line. Have them teach you about their favorite on-line destinations.The Third step is to keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom. It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member of the household. The last step is to Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex offenders. Use of chat rooms, in particular, should be heavily monitored. While parents should utilize these mechanisms, they should not totally rely on them. (fbi.gov). These are just a few tips parents and children using social networking sites should take into consideration to protect themselves and families. Social network sites and other chat sites should take more control to prevent sexual predators from using their websites and to prevent children from becoming victims. There should be age limits on social networks and certain sites that involve chatting with strangers. If a child is under the recommended age for these sites, rules should be enforced, preventing them from going on these sites. Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities require users of the social network to be at least 13 years old (and even older, in some jurisdictions). Millions of preteens use the service anyway: some get permission from their parents to create an account while others lie about their age to get past sign-up restrictions. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wishes there was no limit in the first place. (zdnet.com). Facebook isn’t doing enough to protect its users from online sexual predators. (‘Newser’). Facebook has removed about 5,585 registered sex offenders from its service since May 2010. (C. McCarthy, cnet news). We have been working productively with General Blumenthal and other attorneys general to keep sex offenders off Facebook, and to assure that those who attempt use our site in violation of their parole or other restrictions are brought to justice. This is one of many measures that we continue to take to make Facebook a safer and more trusted online environment.(C. McCarthy, cnet news). Another thing websites can do is make private chatting restricted to teens under age. With that type of restriction any unwanted contect can be viewed by multiple people making it less likely to go undetected by an adult. In conclusion, the topic of cyberspace offenders makes some people uncomfortable. No one wants to think about such things and it is easier to brush off because people don’t see it as a real problem, but according to the Colorado Bureau of investigation, 80% of sex offenders admit to molesting children. (S. Bigham, Curled Up). To some, online sexual offenses are considered abuse. Frankly, “abuse” is probably not a strong enough word for what the victims of sexual offender’s experience, especially from the eyes of a young, defenseless child. These individuals who have experienced this type of abuse at young ages are the ones who become predators or violent criminals. The chain will never end unless people find a way to tame this problem before it gets worse. As a parent you are suppose to protect your children from harm. Using these tips and warnings are ways parents can protect their children from these online sexual predactors. So, to answer the question “Are social networking and chatting sites safe?” They can be if people conduct themselves in a way where people can respect them. These sites are supposed to be used for good, so why turn something that people enjoy into a negative and sc…...

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