KNOW THE SIGNS
Remind children to only interact online and on gaming apps with people they know and trust in the real world.
Let children tell you about what they love about their games and online lives, and allow them to enjoy all that is good about apps, games and online, which makes a conversation about the concerns of online grooming easier to have.
Warn children to not accept gaming dollars (E.G. V-bucks for the game “Fortnite”) from people they don’t know and trust. Predators will later come back and say “now you owe me”.
Review which location markers are visible on children’s devices, and remove any except the essential ones. Consider products to help with this, which can also monitor some – but not all – of your children’s activity.
Reduce shame in conversations with children. If they have shared CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) of themselves, they were manipulated in order to do so. Shame is a method traffickers use to further manipulate, so be supportive instead of blaming the child.
Make sure you know and your child knows what to do if they find themselves in a exploitation situation, and that there are organizations like NCMEC who can help.
Spend “device-free” time with your family to boost everyone’s serotonin levels, and help children feel good without needing to get “likes” on social media.