The Growing Threat Of Internet Sex Predators
I would like to draw attention to an increasing problem that I believe poses a very serious threat to families today - internet sex predators. While children are obviously the most vulnerable targets of a sex predator, I would like to caution individuals of any age (esp. women) to exercise a good deal of discretion with regards to their internet correspondences.
Please keep in mind that Christians are not immune to being victimized by a sex predator. While we as believers may strive to avoid websites that we believe are most likely to be frequented by predators, we must not assume that we are completely safe. Individuals who visit websites geared to or frequented by Christians are also at risk (this includes blogs). If you don't know the person you are communicating with online, never assume that he or she is who they claim to be. Don't allow yourself to become too familiar with them or let down your guard because this person claims to be a Christian. Remember that a predator's goal is to persuade you to meet with them. They will probe you for personal, identifiable information and try to gain your trust. What may seem to be a casual friendship may prove to be a dangerous situation. And though you may have the best of intentions, your online "friend" may not.
The internet is a great invention and a wonderful tool, but it can create a false sense of security if not used responsibly. Exercise wisdom and discernment when online. Think before you IM or email someone (or publish a post or comment on a blog). Ask yourself, "Am I communicating anything that might reveal my identity or whereabouts?" Remember, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
(Parents, the following article may contain explicit material - please use discretion)