Live Streaming Platforms Becoming the Channels of choice for Sex Offenders
Live streaming has been gaining more and more traction throughout 2017. 2018 is just around the corner and it’s predicted that in the next year, video is going to account for nearly 80% of traffic on line. How is that? Well live streaming is going to play a big part in this. Facebook Live, IG Live, YouTube Live, SnapChat is basically live, Lively.ly and YouNow. The world is moving closer and closer to the Truman Show where everything we say and do on a daily basis is broadcast to the world. Privacy is truly dead. Especially for the younger generation.
For us at Beat The Cyberbully we believe online safety is as important as road safety. We teach our children about crossing the road and being safe around them. But when it comes to the online platforms they spend so much time on. What do we do? Well the question is what can we do, if we don’t understand the world they spend so much time in.
The increase in popularity of live streaming with the younger generation has of course attracted the attention of the darker side of the internet.
The Landscape is changing globally
The following copy is taken from the UK but it would be naive of us to think that this trend won’t hit the shores of the UAE in time.
According to National Police Chiefs Council Lead for Child Protection. Chief Constable Simon Bailey. ‘In just one week, police forces and the NCA arrested 192 offenders on suspicion of child sexual abuse offences and prevented 245 children from coming to harm. We will keep working together to do this. Consistently adapting our approach so that nowhere online is safe for people out there to groom children or view them being abused’.
Chief Constable Bailey went on to ask parents for their support. ‘But we also need help. We need internet companies to help us stop access to abuse images and videos and prevent abuse happening on their platforms. We need parents and carers to talk to their children about healthy relationships and staying safe online’.
Head of Safeguarding for the NCA Zoe Hilton ‘We know that as children’s online habits change, offenders are adapting with them. These individuals are learning how young people communicate online and are using this knowledge to contact, befriend and abuse them’.
Earlier this month the National Crime Agency and the National Police Chiefs Council launched a new campaign to help parents protect their children. This campaign is to help them talk to their children about the potential risks of live streaming platforms. Intelligence from the NCA and police forces shows that dangerous offenders are capitalising on the immediacy of contact that live streaming offers, as well as targeting children with a large number of comments in real time.
Offenders can use tricks or dares, offer online gifts or ‘game points’ in an attempt to manipulate young people into performing acts involving nudity over webcam.
What can parents do?
As we say time and time again with our initiative, the best thing parents can do is to be involved in their children’s online lives.
Consistent conversations with your children about what can happen online and how people pretend to be people they are not need to happen. Uncomfortable conversations on topics we don’t want to cover have to happen at an earlier age. If you are going to give your child a smart device at aged 7 or 8, then these conversations need to happen before that.
Remember there are a lot of adults online. So you need to know where your kids are when they’re online and who they’re talking to. Many kids are spending more time online than they are outside. Rightly or wrongly it’s happening. This is where they socialize. They need to know what is acceptable and what isn’t, respect boundaries set by you and most importantly know they can come to you when they experience something that upsets them or is a risk.
As with many things in life, it’s about balance. As your children grow up they need a balance of online and offline time. We need to encourage them to get away from their screens. It will be hard because the world is a screen driven place. But we have to try. They need to develop critical thinking online to protect themselves and navigate the digital world safely and constructively. They need your help to do that.
#whoisSam is the campaign doing the rounds in the UK. Sexual abuse and predators are a subject often avoided in the UAE, but we need to broach the subject. This video from the NCA CEOP is a must see for parents and a conversation must happen as a result of it.
For parents looking for more information on this. Take a look at the Think You Know How page