Protecting Your Child from On-Line Sexual Predators During Covid-19

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If your family is sheltering at home during COVID-19, it is  likely your children are spending a lot more time online. This can unfortunately  create a new set of challenges for every parent because on-line sexual predators are also seeking out victims.

Parents should be extremely cautious of “free” online educational resources. Your child should never have to provide a photo or their full name to use these resources. Check the privacy settings to minimize data collection. Help your child learn to keep personal information private, especially from strangers. Be alert if your child appears to be upset or secretive with online activities.

Work with your child to establish rules on how, when and where devices can be used. Check that your child’s device is running the latest software and antivirus programs, and that privacy settings are on. Keep webcams covered when not in use. For younger children, tools such as parental controls, including safe search, can help keep online experiences positive.

Promote and monitor good behavior online and on video calls. Encourage your children to be kind and respectful to classmates, to be mindful of what clothes they wear and to avoid joining video calls from a bedroom. Familiarize yourself with school policies and helplines to report cyberbullying or inappropriate online content.

Continue to talk with your children about who they communicate with and how. Make sure they understand  what appropriate on-line interactions and that is mean, discriminatory, or inappropriate contact is never acceptable. If your children experiences any of these, encourage them to tell you or a trusted adult immediately.

Finally, it is also important  to help your child recognize and avoid misinformation and age-inappropriate content that may increase anxiety about the COVID-19 virus. Many digital resources from credible organizations like The Center for Disease Control,  and UNICEF are available for you and your child to learn about the virus together.

The Law Office of Tahira Khan Merritt is a trauma-informed  Law firm. We exclusively represent  child and adult  victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault in civil cases. We stand ready to help you with your legal needs.  

For more than  twenty-five years, we have represented victims of sex crimes in civil cases against institutions, including colleges and universities, religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church, Baptist Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Episcopal Church, and Presbyterian Church, among others. We have also represented victims of sexual abuse in  medical settings,  group homes,  schools,  youth sports organizations,  youth camps, daycares, scouting, and other youth serving organizations.

You may confidentially contact our office at 214-503-7300 or through our website :

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