Does Your Child Communicate with Catfish?

When we think about catfish, we usually think about fish with whiskers which skim the bottom of water bodies in search for food that other marine critters leave behind. In cyberspace, the word catfish has taken on a new meaning. Online, a catfish is someone who portrays themselves to be someone they are not. People become online catfish for many reasons, but the main purpose of becoming a catfish is to conceal one’s true identity so that they can develop relationships which they consider may not occur if the person on the other end knew the truth.

People falsify facts about themselves online for many reasons. Most of the time, we want to portray the best representation of ourselves in order to be accepted. Not everyone who lies online is a catfish. A catfish will use someone else’s pictures and make up information in order to attract someone and engage in conversations. The purposes of a catfish and the degrees of danger vary in each situation. Generally, a catfish falls into a specific online catfish category.

There are lonely individuals who feel the need to talk with someone but are not confident in their appearance. There are others who are bored and are seeking a thrill in engaging in conversations to aggravate others while remaining anonymous. Some will make fake profiles in order to exact some type of revenge by deceiving those who they feel have mistreated them. A person my embellish information because they are not confident about their self-image and want to get closer to someone they are attracted to. A catfish could steal another person’s persona in an attempt to ruin their reputation. Others are out to do physical harm to others and use the anonymity of catfishing in order learn personal details and get an upper hand on their victims.

Parents must learn about catfishing in order to protect their children from the harms which catfish pose. There are some telltale signs that someone is a catfish and by identifying catfish early, we can stop the attacks before they are taken too far. Here are the signs that an online personality is actually a catfish who is contacting a child:

1. The child does not know the person in real life.
Children can be very trusting of others. They may add friends and make connections in order to portray popularity and gain acceptance. Catfish use this weakness as a way to gain entry into a victim’s life.

2. The other person seems to know too much.
Catfish learn as much as they can about their victim’s lifestyle and personality. A catfish will study the victim’s likes and dislikes, the slang the victim shares with peers and topics which will interest the victim or evoke personal emotions.

3. A familiar person begins to act strangely.
A catfish may try to ruin someone’s reputation by stealing the photos and identities of their victims. They will post strange or hurtful ideas or insult others in order to alienate their victims from their friends.

4. The online profile is missing something.
A catfish’s profile will normally be fairly new, incomplete, lacking in personal details, or will not have many relevant friends or have any friends at all.

5. Wants to meet up in dubious circumstances
Often, catfish will not want to meet up in person because they do not want their true identity to be exposed. A catfish who wants to do harm will want to meet the victim in private and without anyone else knowing.

Parents should be aware of their children’s online activities in order to look out for potentially dangerous behaviors. In order to steer clear of catfish and their dangers, parents should regularly check their children’s browsing history and social profiles and find out who the children are actually talking to and what types of information are being shared. Smartphone monitoring software allows a parent to see all of the online logs associated with the smartphones and tablets their children use. Monitoring software will allow parents to easily check up on their children so that they can spot potential hazards and put a stop to cyberattacks such as catfishing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.