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Being a tech-savvy parent is one way to make your child’s online experience secure, as a recent story has revealed. In what was an almost textbook example of online grooming that surfaced only a few days ago in Colonie, New York, a watchful mom uncovered and helped to arrest an online predator.
The mother – who has asked to remain anonymous – was browsing through her 15-year-old daughter’s Facebook page when she came across a message from an adult man she didn’t know, ABC10 News reported.
Her suspicions about the man were confirmed when she texted him in the name of her child. The man replied instantaneously and the content of their chat rapidly became more sexual. Luckily, the man gave away some details about himself during the conversation.
Armed with this information, the mother launched an online investigation of her own and, after some digging, found what she was looking for. Dennis Williams, the man on the other side of the chat was in fact using his real name. And, she discovered, he was actually a 33-year-old convicted sex offender.“Identifying this individual would not have been possible had the mother been unaware of online risks.”
Identifying this individual would not have been possible had the mother been unaware of online risks or had never thought to monitor her child’s activity on social networks. The latter, in particular, it has to be said, can be very time consuming. Using parental control tools makes it easier and more effective by automatically alerting parents to irregularities.
With the help of this modern and increasingly widespread technology, you can also get a feel for what your youngsters are up to when they surf the web, whom they are talking to, and how much time they spend online.
In this case, after uncovering the man’s background, the tech-savvy mom immediately contacted local police, the online news provider explained. Investigators continued the conversation she had begun, eventually receiving naked photos of the offender.
Posing as the child, they then arranged a meeting with Mr. Williams. When he arrived, he was handcuffed and later jailed without bail. The police force commended the mother for doing a great parenting job.
“They [the mother and daughter] have a good enough relationship where the mom was monitoring her internet activities,” Robert Winn, a Colonie Police Department lieutenant was quoted by ABC10 News as saying. “And in this case, it prevented what could have possibly been a very bad decision on her part as well as a criminal act on his.”
Author Ondrej Kubovič, ESET