Don’t Type to Strangers
Do 0’s and 1’s add automatically turn a human you’ve never met into your digital friend? No, they don’t.
But sadly, most Cynjas know someone who has garnered human feelings about a digital entity they have never met in person and shared personal information. Which is fine if they’re a cousin living overseas, a relative who can’t travel or someone you have verified with a trusted source, like your Mom or Dad.
Cyber criminals use online chat features to prey on us. Sometimes kids find themselves on fraudulent websites geared toward their interests. That’s because kids are often targets of predators because they are very trusting and willing to respond to pop-up chat windows.
Predators, including pedophiles, roam chat rooms looking for their next young target. They will spend months gaining your child’s trust through what may seem like an innocent pop-up window.
So if you haven’t blocked pop-ups on your child’s browser, do so asap. And talk with the kids in your life about the fact that pop-up windows and chat rooms are not their friends.
• Sometimes, websites pop-up a window even though you never touched anything. When this happens don’t touch it. Come find me. I want to make sure that you stay safe online.
• If you see someone you don’t know typing messages into a screen on the website you’re visiting, don’t type back. Come find me and we’ll see who it is.
• Just like in real life, cyberspace is full of strangers too. So that’s why we only interact with people we know in real life while we’re online. Because sometimes strangers make stuff up to try and trick you into talking with them. If you find a stranger online, come tell me about it or show me.
• Mom or Dad know that sometimes strangers online try to ask for our personal information, like our name, birthday or address. Sometimes they are even sneaky about it. Sometimes these strangers try to tell us they’re really our friends. But we never ever type back because even your parents won’t talk with strangers online. Everyone in our family must make smart choices in cyberspace.
In fact, may we suggest that young children have no business what so ever chatting with strangers online.
If you wouldn’t let your child talk it up with a stranger who approaches them on the street, why are you allowing it to happen in cyberspace?
Digital parenting starts with smart digital families!