Symptoms of Internet Abuse

You know your child the best, and should be concerned if there is a noticeable change in behavior. Alfred O. Olsen, Chief of the Warwick Township (Lititz, Pennsylvania) Police Department, is a nationally recognized expert on Internet crime. Chief Olsen has collected some warning signs you should watch for, including:

  • Loss of interest in social activities (withdrawal from friends, family)
  • Uses of new (unusual) vocabulary, heavy with computer terms, satanic phrases, or sexual references or sudden interest in related posters, music, etc.
  • Look for related doodling or writing. Use of words such as: hacking, phreaking (or any words with "ph" replacing "f")
  • Lack of interest in self and appearance or indications of lack of sleep
  • Computer or modem running late at night (even when unattended), especially if the screen shows a series of four-digit numbers (the computer is trying to identify calling card PIN numbers), or a series of 16-digit numbers (the computer is trying to validate credit card numbers)

Background Information

Questions and Answers


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Other Things to Consider

RelationshipsBlended Families, Parents and Adult Children

TransitionsPreparing for Adolescence, Empty Nest