There are many benefits of internet that keeps us engaged throughout the day. From entertainment to learning, and gaming to socializing, everything is available on the internet. There are plenty of ways to use internet, some of the people use internet positively while others use negatively. As far children are concerned there are plenty of risks involved while they are online. One of them is harassment and cyberbullying, which might lead to many drastic effects.
There are plenty of platforms online where kids can be targeted and one of them is social media. Moreover, there are other apps like Yolo and Kik allow users to interact with others without revealing identity. Moreover, some of the online gaming and chatrooms are a haven for cyberbullies and predators.
What does Online Predator Looks Like?
Online predators are stalking kids who are not aware of how to use social media, what information to share and how to avoid such threats. Predators have special set of objectives that are:
- Obtain explicit photos and videos of children or to share their own picture
- Meeting in person and engage kids in sexual activities
- Involve in sexual talks or online roleplay
- Receive some sort of financial benefit
To successfully achieve these goals, they will not reveal their actual age and register as a younger user when signing up for social media and other accounts. Grooming takes place in several steps given below.
Gaining Child’s Trust
The predators often gain the trust of children through compliments, sharing, liking and commenting on posts. As most of the kids are prone to social media dilemma, they are obsessed with gaining traction among followers.
Predators are very clever and can judge whether the child is being under the supervision of parents or not. Once they come to know that there is no supervision, they will approach them with predatory intentions and behavior.
Sending Explicit Pictures
Abusers normally try to calm the situation and win the trust of the kids by sharing their own explicit images or other children.
Asking for Explicit Pictures
The predators attempt to achieve their motive by asking children to send their own nude images, meeting in person or blackmailing them to gain financial benefits.
Where Predators Are Often Seen?
The predators can be found on many platforms online and offline. Some of them will approach kids through text messages while others will approach them through chatrooms, online gaming, emails, social media platforms, and live streaming apps or websites.
How Parents Can Protect Their Kids?
As the online world is getting darker and darker, parents need to take it seriously. Keeping in view the risks of children being molested or bullying, the best way to deal with it is to take appropriate measures. For instance, there are many Parental Control Apps that allows parents to keep watch on kid’s activities online. One of the best parental control app is FamilyTime that comes with features like:
- Limit screen time on both Android and iOS
- Track Messages and add anonymous contacts to watch list
- Location Tracking
- SOS Panic Alert