Every parent has an anxiety attack whenever they hear a report of a missing or abducted child in the news. They pray it never happens to them and rightly so because it is a parent’s worst nightmare.
Unfortunately, teenagers do not always get that same attention or elicit the same feelings as the missing or abducted child. Teens are almost automatically considered runaways rather than missing children.
And teens that are reported as runaways do not grab people’s attention. The police do not actively search for runaways. It is not a crime to run away from home.
However, in many cases when a teen is missing a crime has been committed. By the police not actively pursuing the conditions surrounding the teen’s disappearance, the crime goes undetected and unpunished.
If some adult lures your teenager and they run away from home and you did not know they were talked into leaving, then the police will not know it either. The police will assume your teen is a runaway and will add it to all the other runaways to be on the lookout for, but will not actively pursue the case because they do not know a crime has been committed.
We all have seen Dateline NBC where they entrap guys who want to have sex with teenagers, then arrest them once they get to the rendezvous point. That’s all well and good that they are out there hunting the hunters and preying on the predators. I applaud their effort.
However, that does nothing for the teen that is considered a runaway because no one knows she or he met someone on the Internet who talked them into running away from home.
The time has come for every parent who has a teenager who uses a computer to start monitoring his or her activities. Teens will scream about their privacy, but you need to know that if they do run away from home that they were lured away.
You need to know and the police need to know because if they were talked into leaving by an adult, then a crime has been committed and the police can put more resources into finding them.
There is software that will allow you to not only block your children and teenagers from accessing inappropriate content on the web, it will also log everything your child or teen does on the computer so you have a record. That record includes online chatroom conversations, email, instant messaging, and websites visited.
The software will even send you a message on your cell phone or to your email whenever your child or teen accesses inappropriate content.
You cannot afford to let your child or teenager decide for themselves what is or is not ok to do on the web. The predators are smarter than they are no matter what they tell you. Your teenager may be smarter than you may when it comes to the computer, but you know what is or is not good for them when it comes to their safety.
Do not be intimidated if you do not know a lot about computers. Do not let that be your excuse for not monitoring your children and teenagers. In the footer of this article you will find resources that can help you monitor everyone who uses your computer. I recommend you start doing it today before IU have to go out and search for your runaway or lured-away teen.