When you’re meeting someone for the first time after, say, communicating with them via an online dating app, you know to set the meeting in a public location, such as a coffee house, and to let friends know where you are.
This is common sense.
But children and teenagers often lack that basic common sense – or might be tricked into keeping their online relationships secret.
Of course, predators can also communicate with potential targets via traditional mail, or meet them at bus stops. But the Internet allows them to scale up their activities big time.
Attackers can use online relationships to lure children to meet them in person. Or, more often, they will try to trick children into making unnecessary purchases, or into sharing information, photos, or videos.
Know your children’s online friends. And, as with off-line friends, confirm their identities, and talk to those kids’ parents. Be sure that those “kids” are, in fact, kids.