How Sexual Predators Use Social Networks to Find Their Next Victim

Web based platforms provide a new and easier means for sexual predators to find their victims.
Web based platforms provide new and easier means for sexual predators to find their victims.

One of the biggest online challenges parents face today is to save their internet active children from online predators. Social media, chatting platforms, porn websites and other unsafe web based platforms provide a new and easier mean for sexual predators to find their victims. In fact, today social media has become an integral part of most teen’s social life providing an easy access to their daily activities. A recent research revealed that 82% of sex crimes against young children begin with the offender accessing personal information of the victim through social networking site.

Social Networks and Chatting Rooms Favorite Tools of Sexual Predators

Research proved that social networks and unsupervised chatting rooms are the most used online tools by sexual predators to find their victims. Parents often approve chatting and social networking with young people like those who are teens, but the National Center of Missing Children revealed in one of their research based report that teens under the age of 18 were involved in 44% of sexual solicitation cases online. This point towards the fact that parents need proactive approach and online parental controls no matter what age group their kids are involved with.

Facebook was initially used by college students, but later it opened its gates for high school students and ultimately for everyone. This resulted in a constant growth of younger users who are not emotionally and psychologically equipped to deal with the unsupervised interactions with different age groups. The success of sexual predators online is often results of lack of online parenting and most of kids not telling trusted adults about their online activities.

Other than unsupervised social networking websites like Facebook, the second most used tool by online predators is chat rooms.

The Journal of Adolescent Health in 2010 revealed that majority of crimes against children that are internet-initiated are mostly initiated in chat rooms. The same study revealed that 18% of teens actively use chat rooms making them soft targets. The report also stated that sexual offenders use social networking sites to get personal information of their victims in 82% cases of online sex crimes.

The most alarming figure comes from International Center for Missing and Exploited Children saying that only 1 out of 3 victims (children and teens) of sexual crimes report such incidents to their parents or any other trusted adult. This means, many of such crimes are going on unreported encouraging sexual offenders. No wonder why the number of online sexual predators increased in last few years.

How to Deal with Cyberstalking

Online predators are also not the only problem parents face today. Online bullying, identity theft and online blackmailing are also raising issues for children exposed to internet. Parents need a very active role in tracking online activities of their kids. One of the most recommended and most effective tools to save your kids from sexual predators or any other online crime is use of third party software. Fortunately, there are many smart options available today like IMLOCK for windows by Comvigo.com and its android version that can block the unwanted stuff and can timely intercept any harmful communication between your kids and sexual predators.