Internet & Technology
Technology itself is NOT abusive. It has NOT created more abusers – it has just made life easier for them! Abusers choose to use it as a shield for their abuse. Technology has enabled and facilitated the abuser to network and accesses his/her prey and other abusers more easily.
The internet is a great educational tool and chat rooms are fun. Mobile phones allow easy communication between friends and family. Digital cameras allow easier sharing of photographs. Social networking sites can be fun however in the wrong hands people with ill intent can create a devastating effect.
Technology allows abusers to explore their “sexual curiosity” more easily.
Research now appears to show Internet Sex Offenders (ISO) are not merely the “same old” sexual predator using a new medium. Personality profiles appear to be different to that of the direct contact abuser. Many ISOs begin with adult pornography and proceed to child pornography – because “it is there “.
NSPCC - Jon Brown Head of Strategy and Development says:
“Trying to stop the terrible trade in these dreadful images is a huge task. It should not be seen in isolation. It is part of a much bigger sex abuse problem. Toddlers under 2 years of age and babies are being raped and seriously sexually assaulted by adults in order to produce the images for the websites. We need better understanding of the links between possessing these pictures and contact sex offences if we are to prevent more children being abused in such an appalling way”.
MAKE NO MISTAKE! the Internet is a place where people find, groom and abuse children.
AVOID CHAT ROOMS THAT DONT HAVE A MODERATOR – THE CHAT ROOM WILL STATE WHETHER OR NOT IT HAS THIS FACILITY WHEN YOU LOG ON.
The most important question to ask children is “Do you REALLY know with whom you are communicating?“ The REALITY is – you lost control THE MINUTE you post information and images of yourself onto and internet site. It is there permanently for the world to see forever!”
BE WARY OF WHAT INFORMATION YOU PUT oN SOCIAL NETWORK SITES – OTHERS VIEWING MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT AGENDA !
STAY IN CONTROL!
NEVER use your real name.
NEVER give out your family name.
NEVER give out your mobile phone, home address or phone number, or where you attend school.
NEVER send anyone a photo of yourself.
NEVER agree to meet an on-line friend without a trusted adult with you.
WARNING: REMEMBER – Other people will also be using nicknames and false identity.
“Hi I’m Jane; I am 13, like sports and socialising, living in Bristol”
REALITY MAYBE – “Hi I’m John; I am aged 40, likes to groom and abuse, living in your street”
We have a moral responsibility to safeguard the future of our children from abuse.
Ensure you have an overview of your child’s home use of the Internet. Monitor it.
Police advise against children under 16 years of age, having their own personal laptop or computer, with personal Internet access in their own rooms.
Ask yourself, why your child should need total privacy on the Internet. Make your presence known, you could and SHOULD interrupt your child’s use of the computer, unannounced at any time.
Check out the subject matter of computer games.
Monitor the use of webcams-who is your child contacting? See section “Websites with advice to protect children on-line.”
Teen On-line behaviour from Net ID –
- 61% of 13-17 year olds have a personal profile on a social networking site
- 71% have received messages online from someone they don’t know
- 45% have been asked for personal information by someone they don’t know
- 30% have considered meeting someone they’ve only talked to online
- 14% have actually met a person face-to-face they have only spoken to online
- 20% report that it is safe to share personal information on a public blog or social networking site
The abuser manipulates through technology in much the same way as the old age “hands on” grooming and abuse as we now know it.
The police paedophile units now have very sophisticated methods and equipment to patrol cyber space. NEVERTHLESS, it is a game of “cat and mouse”, paedophiles are clever; they regularly change their language and phrases between themselves, attempting to stay ahead of the police.
It is against the law to show images of sex with children on the Internet. You MUST report it at once, if you discover such an activity. Contact IWF, Internet Watch Foundation, Helpline 01 223 237700 or www.iwf.org.uk
Pornographic sites may target your email address. You may find you can’t close off such sites by pressing the back button or Escape. If so, turn the computer off and if necessary, contact the police.
Research shows that the number of children currently being abused by technology is increasing. The child’s on-line friend is secret, and any meetings in the “real world” may remain that way and their whereabouts undetected.
DIGITAL CAMERAS AND MOBILE PHONES.
In the wrong hands emailed photographs and film are easily sent to others for cut and pasting. Many child abuse images are “created” and airbrushed appearing to be the “real thing”. If photographs of children are to be used for brochures or websites– be sure not to show the full clear face or body of a child.
Special care should be taken by organisations using photographs of children for printed literature i.e. School prospectuses, group photographs school groups, sports teams etc. You have no idea to whom you may be emailing photographs and how that person may choose to use them.
Paedophiles and their contacts make it their business to trawl through websites and booklets for their “ideal” prey. Large amounts of money are exchanged for those who secure certain desired profiles.
NEVER put a child’s name in any printed literature – it is easy for that child to be contacted and traced by those of ill intent.
POLICING THE INTERNET
VIRTUAL GLOBAL TASK FORCE – VGTF:
An International Law Enforcement Agency. Police Officers are able to gather evidence, which can be used if a prosecution is made.
If youngsters and parents are worried abusers might be trying to make contact-
Click on the Virtual Taskforce logo – shaped like an eye.
You will be told to obtain the IP address and user name of the person who is causing concern. Police as evidence will use the contents of the online dialogues.
People accessing the internet by mobile phone are also able to click on the logo of the VGTF.
CEOP – CHILD EXPLOITATION AND ON-LINE PROTECTION
CEOP is an agency launched in April 2006, to tackle child abuse and indecent images on the Internet launched by the Home Office. The unit staffed by Police, computer technicians and child welfare specialists, also offers advice to parents/adults/carers and potential victims.CEOP can be accessed 24 hours a day.
CEOP is affiliated to the Serious Organised Crime Agency and works with International Police Forces. CEOP is linked to VGTF.
CEOP contact details– 33 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2WG. Tel – 0870 000 3344.
CEOP have produced excellent training videos and materials– for example show children the video of the real threat of danger if they do not use the Internet and Mobile Phones with caution. www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents