What is online abuse?
1.Offensive communication: These could be videos, pictures, text, voice, calls or any other form of communication with an offensive nature including being sexually suggestive, aggressive, etc., sent to you without your consent or knowledge repeatedly.
2.Threats: This is when you or your loved ones are threatened with physical harm or by posting any form of unwanted information about you online.
3.Blackmail: This is when someone threatens to harm you or your loved ones by physical means or by sharing real or fake information that may damage reputations (yours or your loved ones’) if you do not do something that they are demanding.
4.Cyber Bullying: Cyber bullying is when a peer sends you intimidating messages, teases or shames you online. This may also include someone sharing your information publicly online or in a group.
5.Cyber stalking: It is the repeated use of social networks, mobile communications, etc., to harass you in any way. This can happen over a long period of time, as in weeks or even months.
6.Child Sexual Material: These can be videos, texts, images, including computer graphics that contain sexual material or makes inappropriately suggestive propositions to a minor in a sexual context.
Staying safe online:
1. Do not register yourself on unnecessary websites or apps.
2. Install a good anti-virus (avoid cracked versions) software and regularly scan your computer.
3. Use an open source browser such as Firefox for all online transactions.
4. Do not respond to emails that claim that you may have won money or any other offers.
5. Do not forward any sort of message that ask to be forwarded to others for any reason what so ever.
6. Do not send photographs of yourself to someone you do not know personally online.
7. Control the amount of information you share online. Avoid posting personal plans, information on your location and details about kids online.
8. Beware of your smart phone settings, as some phones attach the GPS location to the photographs you take.
9. Remove all unwanted apps from your mobile and make sure the permissions are well controlled.
10. Do not leave your mobile with a third party; even trusted persons.
11. Do not accept files from people you do not trust. If you receive a file from an unknown source do not open it under any circumstance.
12. Do not meet a person you met online in a secluded spot. Always choose a public spot with enough people around if you are meeting.
13. Beware of video chats, there are many scams where the video is recorded and later used for blackmail.
Keeping your kids safe online
1. Talk to your kids about being safe online. Do not shy away or hold information from them. Openly talk to them about the dangers and make them understand that they can trust you to support them in case of a danger or an emergency.
2. Do not threaten them or scare them, let them feel safe and understand that they can turn to you in times of crisis.
3. Use a child protection software such as NetNanny or K9 Protection to keep your kids safe online. (only use these if your kids are under the age of 14. Making use of these beyond that age may harm your relationship with the child.)
4. Teach them about what are acceptable and unacceptable conversations online and tell them to talk to you about any person, who they feel is approaching them in a hostile way.
5. Make them understand that they do not have to give in to threats even if they themselves are the reason for the situation they are in.
6. Ask them never to share their personal information online.
7. Know what their interests are online and encourage them to use the internet more productively.
8. Inform them about dangers of meeting people online and ask them to be open about it if someone is pushing them to meet them outside in secluded areas.
9. Ask them to not install unnecessary applications on their phones or desktops. Also inform them not to give permission for random apps to access your Facebook and other accounts.
10. Do not upload pictures of your children or relative’s online. Especially those in their school uniforms.
11. Do not break their privacy. Children too need their space and breaking this repeatedly can cause them to hide information from you and not trust you at crucial times.
12. Ask them to keep a safety app handy.
Signs of online grooming:
Online grooming is the way by which online offenders groom their victims to their interests. The following are signs to look out for cyber grooming.
1. Look out for sudden increase in internet usage among children. Getting more and more attached to being online is a sign of being groomed.
2. The child may become more secretive as the groomers usually encourage the victims to distance themselves from others.
3. Offenders may send gifts to their victims to create a bond of trust and to fabricate an image of a caring individual.
4. Use of electronic devices such as webcams increase exponentially.
5. Excessive money with children maybe a sign that someone is paying them.
6. Emails, messages, etc., from grownups in a sexually suggestive manner, or even intimate conversation from an adult.
If you are under threat:
In case you are being threatened, blackmailed or abused online make sure that you
1. Stay calm and not panic, you need to focus to solve the problem.
2. Do not give in to threats; do not do what they want or meet them. The offenders usually do not go ahead with their claims as they know they will get into legal trouble.
3. Make records of all communications and save them and keep a backup. You may need this in case you need to stop them.
4. DO NOT delete or deactivate your accounts or apps. This may cause you to lose critical information.
5. Share the information with a trusted person like a friend, colleague or spouse and know that you will be safe. If you can’t find any one to support you, do please call our helpline at +91- 8891320005
6. Tell the offender strongly to back off or let them know that you are not interested in further communications. Also inform them that you shall go ahead with legal remedies if they keep bothering you.
7. Make sure that the offender knows that you are not scared to go to the authorities if that is what it takes. Offenders depend on you being scared to go to another person.
8. If the threats are really serious, immediately file a complaint with the local police and inform another person as well.
9. For any help please call our help line +91- 8891320005
If your kid is under threat:
1. Communicate with your child about the issue. Calm them down and make them understand that you will stand with them and solve the issue. They should know that they are not alone.
2. Do not get angry or blame the kid for the mistake. Be supportive and make them feel safe.
3. Ask the child for details and help them save all the communications and other information from the offender.
4. Do not ask the child to deactivate or delete the account as this can cause other undesirable reactions including losing information about the offender.
5. Do let another person know about the situation in case you need help.
6. Report the issue to the police if the threat is serious or of the person is not backing off even after warnings.
7. The most important part is that the child feels secure and that he or she feels confident that you will stand with them.
8. If you need any help or guidance call up our helpline at any time. Call +91- 8891320005
Online Child Grooming
Child grooming is a process of emotional manipulation by which pedophiles prepare children and youth for sexual exploitation.
The grooming process typically involves an adult befriending a young person and then winning his or her trust by showering the youth with flattery, sympathy, gifts of money or modeling jobs, and other personal attention.
Finally, the groomer attempts to sexualize the relationship, seeking to control the child and continue the abuse, which may include child pornography or even sex trafficking.
Pedophiles go where children go and today that includes the Internet.
Child grooming goes online when pedophiles use the Internet for the grooming process.
Adults may begin the grooming process by visiting forums where youth interact, such as social networking sites, online games (which may use two-way voice and video technology) or chat rooms, or contact children through email and text messages.
Pedophiles may use the information that children reveal about themselves online and target vulnerable youngsters with low self-esteem, family problems, or lack of money.
All over the news these days we see incidents of child abuse; online predators, cyber bullies, and Internet stalkers make up a genre of cybercrime second only to identity theft.
Internet safety experts warn us almost daily of the rash of sexual exploitation facing our kids today, and child protection agencies can barely keep up with their caseload.
The sexual exploitation of children is becoming the new epidemic of child abuse and the Internet is making cybercrime and crimes against children easier to commit.
But this isn’t a new phenomenon; child abuse of all kinds has always existed, it’s just that we’re only now becoming capable of addressing sexual abuse openly, allowing victims to heal and putting predators behind bars where they belong.
Internet safety is an absolute must for parents who want to protect their children from sexual predators.
While the Internet probably isn’t creating more predators, it does give them the opportunity to access children they couldn’t reach before and with a sense of anonymity that makes them bold in their approach.
Unfortunately, the anonymous nature of the Internet also makes it difficult to catch sexual predators.
This is why any approach to child protection must take the computer into consideration, and all parents should have a reliable parental control software system installed on their computer.
There are numerous very effective parental control software programs which give a full picture of what the child is doing online, who they are speaking to, and what’s being said.
With email recording, chat recording, website blocking and website recording, these programs allow parents to choose exactly how much control they need to have over their child’s Internet access.
Most of these programs can be accessed from remote locations, and thus particularly suited for working parents.
The sexual exploitation of children may not be new, but it is a danger that can now reach into households and schools via the Internet, and all parents and educators must be prepared to deal with this new take on an old problem.