There are Predators in your iPod
Did you know that?
Did you know that your child could be stalked by a predator right from his or her iPod? I didn't...but now I do.
The iPod touch, the iPhone...awesome little tools. Amazing "apps" as they like to be called. Fun games. Music. Organization. Shopping Lists. Recipes. And yes....predators.
My daughter decided to save her money to buy an iPod touch. Although skeptical, because I was not a fan her having Internet access at finger tips, I reluctantly agreed. She promised not go to Facebook (we have strict limitations on that) and she promised not to get any texting apps (my kids don't have cell phones) so I let her do it. I also thought this was a good way to prove her responsibility and trust.
She had TONS of apps. All free. But TONS, none the less. However, since I am the one with the iTunes account and knew what she downloaded, I wasn't concerned.
Until last week.
I woke up in the middle of the night last week with a sick feeling in my stomach. Something told me to retrieve her iPod...that she was accessing "things" or "people" she shouldn't. Being terribly convicted I got up (which is a HUGE stretch for me in the middle of the night!) and went a got her iPod. Granted it was 3am...but I didn't see anything questionable. I let it go. I mentioned it in the morning, to which I was laughed off with a "wow mom". Case closed...I was over reacting. Right?
Then there was yesterday.
There was a strange email that appeared in her box. A person I didn't recognize. A name that made me cringe.
Sick feeling again.
The next course of events was long and drawn out...but basically what was learned is that there are apps that allow you to "play" an online opponent. Innocent right?
They also allow you to "chat". I retrieved those chats...some at very odd times...and I was disturbed to say the least. Nothing inappropriate had gone on. Not yet. But it was close. I don't need to reveal any other details, that is a family issue, but I want you to be aware.
These apps allow you to chat with strangers. Strangers very likely pretending to be someone they are not. Pretending to be "friends". I know enough about sexual predators on the internet, I have seen the specials on TV, I know what can happen. This concerns me for me...for her...for us...but it also concerns me for parents everywhere.
I feel blessed to have caught this when I did. I feel like the "wake up" call in the middle of the night was definitely a prompting from the Holy Spirit.
But I feel like some innocence was lost here....something I will never regain for her. And the trust factor? That is a whole different story.
The temptation, the lure, the secrecy....it is there. It is everywhere.
Do you know what is on your child's iPod?