|Internet Warning Signs
Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room. A child looking at pornographic images or having sexually explicit conversations does not want you to see it on the screen.
Your child spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at night. Most children that fall victim to computer-sex offenders spend large amounts of time on-line, particularly in chat rooms. Children on-line are at the greatest risk during the evening hours. While offenders are on-line around the clock, most work during the day and spend their evenings on-line trying to locate and lure children or seeking pornography.
You find pornography on your child's computer. Pornography is often used in the sexual victimization of children. Sex offenders often supply their potential victims with pornography as a means of opening sexual discussions and for seduction. Child pornography may be used to show the child victim that sex between children and adults is "normal."
Your child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize. Most computer-sex offenders want to talk to children on the telephone. While a child may be hesitant to give out his/her home phone number, the computer-sex offenders will give out theirs. With Caller ID, they can easily find out the child's phone number. Some computer-sex offenders have even obtained toll-free 800 numbers.
Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don't know. It is common for offenders to send letters, photographs, and all manner of gifts to their potential victims.
Your child becomes withdrawn from the family. Computer-sex offenders will work very hard at driving a wedge between a child and their family by exploiting any minor problems at home.
Your child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else. Even if you don't subscribe to an on-line service or Internet service, your child may meet an offender while on-line at a friend's house or the library.