Whether you're a teenager, parent, educator, or just a concerned community member, we have the tips to help keep you or your loved one safe online. Teens often do things before they think about it, which can sometimes lead to extremely dangerous outcomes, especially when teens are dealing with strangers online that they've never met before. The online world is very dangerous if you aren't mature and responsible enough to be able to tell right from wrong.
Internet Safety Statistics
High school can be both a fun and stressful time for teenagers. Often times, teens will fall victim to online predators because they are online and on social media a good portion of their everyday life. Teens are also the number one age group to make online friends.
Parents often are left in situations involving their children and the use of social media and the internet. Often times, parents aren't exactly sure how to keep their children safe while they're online. Some parents don't even pay attention to what their kids are doing online, which is typically never a good idea.
Information For Parents
Middle school students and pre-teenagers are typically very gullible and vulnerable, especially when it comes to social media. A lot of times, middle school students just want to be popular and will often use extraordinary measures to be popular on social media and in school.
Why Is Internet Safety Is So Important?
More than 50% of teens have witnessed cyberbullying on social media.
Over 25% of teens on social media reported having an experience resulting in a face-to-face confrontation in or out of school
Only 7% of U.S. parents are worried about cyberbullying.
2% of Americans believe their accounts are secure with only usernames and passwords, yet every two seconds there is a victim of identity fraud.
90% of teens say their parents have talked to them about online safety. However, nearly half (49%) of teens claim their parents do nothing to monitor their devices at all.
What is cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. Online stalking typically occurs through social media, but can occur anywhere online.
Three in four stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. A large portion of them are stalked by a former or current romantic partner.
Be mindful of who can see your content. If you post pictures and statuses publicly, they can be used against you by an online stalker, especially if they know you.
Cyberstalking may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass
Child Exploitation and Sex Trafficking
Child sexual exploitation is a type of sexual abuse involving control of a child through means of force, threats, abuse, or manipulation. It happens to both boys and girls and often happens to young children, pre-teenagers, or even teenagers. Children and teenagers with certain disabilities may also fall victim to sex trafficking, as predators attempt to lure in the most vulnerable victims.
Many predators use the same tactics to lure in potential trafficking victims. Many times, this begins with the predator friending a young child or teen online in hopes of them talking to the potential victim. This is often called grooming. Children can groomed by a stranger, family member, or anyone who has access to talk to the child/teen. Grooming occurs both in real life and online. Grooming often involves promises to the child such as food, alcohol, drugs, gifts, affection, and/or love. Also common is when a predator convinces the child/teen into thinking that they are a friend or even a boyfriend. Many predators will force trust between between them and the child/teen and will convince the victim to meet them to 'hang out'. This can often lead to rape, abuse, assault, or kidnapping which could turn into sex trafficking or child exploitation.
Sexual exploitation of a child is defined as the act of using, persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions or child pornography. Actual acts that are considered sexual exploitation of a minor include the following:
Indecent touching or exposure to a child
Use of sexually explicit language towards a child
Involvement of a child in pornography
Showing a child pornographic images or material
Rape and/or sexual abuse/assault
Sexual slavery or sex trafficking
Sexual exploitation of a minor can sometimes also include transportation of the minor from one state or city to another with the intent of engaging the child in any type of sexual behavior.
NCMEC leads the nation in the fight to end child exploitation as well as working to find missing kids. Another new way that children are put in danger is through sextortion.
Sextortion: a relatively new form of sexual exploitation that occurs primarily online in which coercion and blackmail are used to acquire sexual content (like photos or videos) of a minor, to extort the child for money, or to meet to engage in sex with the child.