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Digital Grooming, Child Exploitation, and Social Media; The Causality That We All Need to Know About

Most of us know that social media and cyber crimes have a correlation, but do we know how big of a problem it is already? Do we know online child abuse is one reason why hidden mobile monitoring software use is surging? Just alone in the U.S., the cases of online child exploitation have increased from 4560 in 1998 to 76584 in 2006. [Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]. This is a whopping 15000% increase in 8 years.
Digital Grooming, Child Exploitation, and Social Media Causality

Well, these figures alone should give parents nightmares. But there's more in our backpack to fire up your parental epiphanies. But why would we do that, putting parents on the edge of their seats? It's because we want the world to be a safer digital place, especially for our kids. Because they are the ones who are the future keepers of this world.

But they can’t do it alone. They can't do without their parents on their side. And kids who groomed for crimes and abused stay encapsulated in the limbo of their thoughts. They never get out of it most of the times and they never reach their full potential.

The Gen-V needs to be comfortable around technology; it’s their thing. They need to have pleasant online experiences because the future is online.

Since I have been doing a literature review of cyber crimes and digital grooming and how social media plays a role in their correlation, I have started to critically analyse how, we as parents, have been failing to provide a safer digital space to our kids. I have also been looking at whether hidden mobile monitoring software is any capable of protecting kids in their digital world or not.

Nearly every paper that I have gone through corroborates a causality between online child exploitation and social media. There are papers that have looked into the online predators' use of technology, and particularly social media, and how they use them to their advantage in the digital of grooming kids.

Let’s put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Digital Child Grooming Explained
Basically, child grooming includes a premeditated set of actions that secure the trust and support of the children before they are encouraged into sexual conduct.

Understanding the Child Grooming Process
The predators start by giving the children that they are interested in. It could be games, gossip, tech, or anything that interests the child.

The process of grooming starts with the offender making a child feel special; so they try to build a bond with them. They gain the trust they need to cultivate the possibility of victimizing them in the real world.

Once the trust is gained between the offender and the victim, the offender starts introducing some sexual elements into their discussion. This is to desensitize the children to the chances of entering in an act of sex in the future.

If all that successfully happens, the offender solicits the child victim for sharing their nude photos or images which are later used as a leverage against them for real life meetings or the offender just goes subtle and avoid the blackmailing.

What’s Wrong with the Social Media?
If we look at the child exploitation stats, you could see how abruptly the figures have gone up between 1998 and 2006. A possible reason for is the advent of social media platforms and their accessibility to everyone. All the major social media networks like Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Orkut, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN messenger, Myspace were launched during the same timeline.

This is why.

According to experts, social networking has opened those channels of anonymity to the online predators that they didn’t have access to prior to social media. These predators were concerned about their identity and feared the repercussions of engaging in underage sexual exploitation. But with Facebook, Twitter, and instant messengers, it has been a lot easier for them to hide their real face and identity.

Initiatives to Stop Bullying
There are many effective and valuable non-legislative measures in place, like social networking sites taking on proactive measures against sexual predators, internet filtering tools, rating systems, monitoring systems, and creating specialist units against online predators; so there’s something for everyone to participate into and ensure a safer cyberspace for the young generation.

But there’s something that every parent can do and needs to do to protect their kids, and i.e. to monitor their online activity. This can be done using a hidden mobile monitoring software that can discretely monitor children’s every cell phone activity.

For instance:

You can use hidden mobile monitoring software to Watchlist words, phrases, places, and emails that are possibly linked to cyberbullying and online exploitation.

You can track your kids’ whereabouts in real-time provides stamps for address, date, and time for every location monitored.

Most importantly, you can monitor their social media and instant messaging apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Skype, Kik, and iMessage. You can even get access to shared and stored multimedia on your children’s Android or iOS devices.

You can view their phonebook entries, text messages and even emails sent or received.

Monitoring apps are deemed unethical, but when it comes to kids’ digital safety, there’s hardly anything better than parents watching over their children’s online world.

So, what about you, how you keep track or monitor your kids? do let us know in the comments section down below.

Rizwan Ahmad 
About the Author:
Rizwan is an avid mobile geek and a gaming lover. He loves to keep a tab on new Tech and loves to share latest tech news and reviews on Smartphones, Gadgets, Apps and more here on cyberockk.

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