#CyberFLASH: Embracing technology safely

Quebec hacker

If children are sexually exploited on the Internet by an online predator, the last thing parents should do is blame them, says an educator with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

Instead, they should embrace the technology and ask their children what they are doing in order to try to protect them from the dangers that lurk inside a public place where there are no boundaries and where no door is completely locked, Noni Classen said in a recent interview.

“Children don’t have the experience, or brain development, to reflect on the potential implications or intentions of the other person luring them on the Internet,” she said.

“They are only looking at it from their own egocentric lens of, ‘What is going to happen to me?’ At that age their brains are wired for social interaction and bonding, and their need for acceptance and belonging is going to drive their needs,” said Classen.

The director of education for the centre told The Telegram, as part of a three-part series on Internet luring, once children are engaged by a sexual predator, some don’t know how to release the grip and they become manipulated.

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