There’s a highly spoken debate about the danger of Grooming and its solutions.
Basically, some parents offer their kids a transparent usage of their digital devices and the internet. And others not so much. This, to try to avoid predators online.
But it seems like there’s none that solves the real problem.
While cyberbullying has been addressed in the last 10 years… Grooming keeps passing by under the table.
When we read headlines like this one, Is when severe measures start to be taken.
How does it translate to Cybersecurity? Grooming happens in the World Wide Web.
Besides, your business isn’t all you care about.
Your kids must be well-protected. And that’s exactly what I’m going to address today.
What is Grooming & Why Is It So Dangerous
Grooming happens when an adult tries to get the trust of a minor and take sexual advantage of him/her.
Every parent’s nightmare: the predator disguises online as a kid itself. And the despicable approach tends to occur almost every time with the goal of obtaining explicit content from the kid. In other cases, to send the kid sexually explicit content.
This is wrong in so many ways.
Even so, predators usually set-up a system in place to bond the trust with the victim.
The biggest focus of their process is to keep them uncommunicated from their parents, other family members, and even friends.
And this is where the debate unfolds.
Parents (like you, probably) are worried about the dangers their children can find online.
Still, when technology is pretty safe when used correctly… As with everything in life, there are downsides. Using technology incorrectly opens the gates to significant damage.
For example, grooming victims suffer post-event consequences such as stress, fear, and depression. So, we have to do something about it.
Institutional programs have registered laws against cyberbullying, and for online predators.
But I’m sure you won’t reduce the chance of third-parties to secure its safety.
We’re going to study how does Predators “work”, so you
What do Predators Look For (Modus Operandi)
If we could systemize it the common patterns of their “Modus Operandi”, it would be in this way:
- Contact and Rapport Establishment: As said, they usually disguise as “one of their own” (same age and similar hobbies) and try to “empathize” with gifs, or by hearing their problems, which they’ll later use against their own will.
- Set Victim Aside: Suppressing the kid’s connection with closer adults is what the predator does after the “relationship” starts to bond. It will insist on keeping the conversation secret.
- Sex Talk: Only when the trust seems strong enough, the predator will start approaching the victim with sexual conversations to get him/her familiarized with the topic.
- Requests: The fourth and last step is when the predator starts asking for sexual material or physical contact with the victim.
Now that you know how this happens, you will learn how to stop it timely.
Have You Spotted a Predator Online? Do This Now
Look, there’s a great chance that if this ever happens to your children, he, she, or they will fear saying something because of the prior intimidation.
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen… But still, it can.
What can you do?
First and foremost, you should talk about the risks and consequences of Grooming.
Be open and do not apply the same intimidation tactic with a punishment. At least take some time to understand the full situation, before jumping to take the devices out of their hands.
That alone is the #1 reason most grooming victims don’t speak about it. Besides feeling shameful.
Let your kids know that they can let you know about, if it ever happens, through a text, email, or social media publication.
As well as letting them know that the best would be to rapidly disconnect and take distance from the predator. Maybe the children will feel impulsed to answer with anger (which is completely natural), but while it works sometimes, other times it doesn’t help much.
And if this ever happens (which I hope it doesn’t), you should be prepared to save evidence if necessary. Name of the person, Images, Videos, Screenshots of the conversation is valuable when presenting a demand.
Here’s a useful extra resource made by the FBI against Children/Online Predators crimes.
Just as Malware can destroy your business and take the hard-earned money out of you…
Grooming can damage your family’s mental health forever.
What these two have in common, is that predators tend to have solid knowledge about the devices they use to commit their crimes. Sometimes, achieving hacker-like skill levels.
Being said, the professional of MyITGuy won’t permit that from ever happening to you.