The Internet as a Child Predator's Tool: Awareness and Prevention

Essay by graduate0733University, Bachelor'sA+, August 2006

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Because the internet has become user friendly, is easily accessed, and provides a degree of anonymity, child predators have found a new playing field that supports and enables their crimes. Everyone, especially parents and children, should be aware of what is becoming a large problem in America, and take steps to prevent falling victim to a child predator. Through this paper we will become aware of how easily child predators are able to access the internet, get a relative profile of internet child predators and their support system, understand how easily accessible children are to predators, and highlight preventative steps for parents and children that will reduce the risk of becoming an internet predator's victim.

Ease and Anonymity of the Internet

With the internet quickly becoming available in the majority of households across America, criminals now have a new arena to commit crimes (Schmalleger, 2006). For a criminal to access the internet they need only a few items.

First, they must have a monitor, hard drive, and keyboard (basic computer components). Second, they must have a modem to facilitate access to the internet. Lastly, they need an internet service provider (ISP) such as America Online or People PC. Because computer technology is quickly overtaking this nation, there are relatively few people who do not know how to set up a computer system to access the internet; however, for those who do not there are many aids and information accessible in many different forms (such as books) to assist a user. Once a user has accessed the internet, it is also relatively easy to understand as there are also a variety of online tutorials to learn the in and outs of internet surfing.

Facilitating the criminal desire is the perceived degree of anonymity that cyber space holds. When accessing cyber space...