Predators are stalking homeschooling kids online. With millions of kids logged onto the Internet for distance learning, perverts are out in full force looking for new targets.
Jackson County Sheriff Tedd Frazier issued this warning, “As screen time increases for our children, be aware of their online access. Predators are on the prowl. Keep a close eye on your children.”
He’s not wrong about that, police in Fairfax County, Virginia arrested 30 men in just one county for trying to solicit kids online.
They called their sting Operation COVID Crackdown. Officers posed online as school children. Grown men then initiated sexual conversations and arranged to meet up with “kids” for sex. When the thirsty perverts showed up, cops slapped the cuffs on them. Thirty men ranging in age from 20 to 74 were charged with 68 felonies.
Kids In Danger
Local sex abuse expert, Rhiannon Gill, said that well-intentioned government efforts to shut down sites frequented by pedophiles has pushed them onto mainstream social media where they have almost an endless supply of potential victims. “Cybersafety is a big deal that a lot of people don’t realize can lead their children down the proverbial rabbit hole.”
However, with many households experiencing tension due to being quarantined together, these sickos are ready to take advantage of the situation. Gill says predators watch online for kids complaining about the situation at home.
Unfortunately, she said kids aren’t only in danger from online predators. Teachers often play an important part in reporting child abuse.
“Can you imagine what is happening in homes right now where the children’s only reprieve was going to school?”
Sadly, kids from abusive or neglectful homes are at higher risk of being abused. ” Because they are getting the needed attention that they aren’t getting from their family.”
How can you protect your kids?
- Monitor their online activity. Always.
- Don’t allow very young children to use social media. Most have a minimum age of 13. That’s still too young for many kids.
- Know who they are communicating with online.
- Understand the social media apps they use. Get an account and insist that you be made a friend or contact. If you don’t understand how it works, they don’t need an account.
- Check your kids’ privacy settings. (If you don’t know how you better learn.)
- Beware private messaging apps. Insist on the right to check your kids’ communications.
Gill says kids being raised by grandparents are particularly at risk. They often don’t understand the ins and outs of social media. “We have ultimately created a society of children who are being raised by grandparents who are raising them like they raised their parents so they are unaware of all the dangers and they don’t realize how this generation reaches out for attention.”