Child Safe Online Grooming

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA, ONLINE GROOMING & GAMING.


As children continue to find new ways to connect with each other on all different types of apps and websites, it is increasingly important and in the best interest of the parent and child to help educate themselves to make wiser and safer choices about who they talk to when online. They need to know that they don’t need to share any personal information with anyone they talk to, especially with an increase of groomers online with almost 100,000 groomers online every day.



THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY SAFE ONLINE!


I understand that all teenagers use social media and apps to stay in touch with friends but these days it seems to be all about who can be the most popular, with who has the best pictures and who has the most followers. Here are some things that you can do to keep yourself safer online:

Stay Safe Online

  • Keep your profile private. 
  • Turn off location services. 
  • Only accept adds/invitations from people you know. 
  • Only use apps suitable for your age. 

LOOKING OUT FOR ONLINE GROOMERS.


These are the things that online groomers will do to groom you. They will lie to you until they have gained your trust. Almost all children don’t even realize they are being groomed, so if you see any of these signs tell someone immediately.

What to Look Out For

  • If you don’t know them, don’t talk to them. They can use other people’s videos and pictures to pretend to be someone else to gain your trust.
  • Initially, they will be especially nice to you, give you constant compliments and will message often through different types of social media. 
  • They may try to get you to keep the conversations a secret. 
  • They may try to talk about personal information, find out what school you go to, how old you are, what room your computer is in (in case they could get caught), where you are and who you are with.
  • Sexual content - they will ask you to send naked pictures or videos of yourself. 
  • Manipulate and blackmail. 
  • They will show aggression. 
  • Report to parents and police, you won’t get in trouble! 


Child Safe Online Gaming

ONLINE GROOMING THROUGH GAMING.


Gaming online is fun for children as they get to play their favorite games with friends in the comfort of their own home. There are a lot of risks to online gaming as well as just grooming. Children love to play online with friends and with strangers, with thousands of children playing online every day. They need to make sure the games that they are playing are suitable for their age.

The Risks of Online Gaming

  • Cyber bulling - online games are played by all different ages, so people can be mean and say nasty things to upset you. If they know you are younger, you will be an easier target for them. This can be done by strangers or people that you know. People may constantly exclude you from playing, leaving you feeling left out or even destroy or steal your items in the game or even your personal information and identity through hacking.
  • Stick to games your own age as many games will have sexual content, horror and bloody violence which won’t be suitable for you. All games will have an age certificate on them, so you can see what age the game is suitable for.
  • Some children can get addicted to their gaming, which can take over their lives and take them away from the real world. If you ever feel like this is happening to you, don’t be afraid to speak out. If you don’t seek help it may have a big impact on you later on in life.

THE SIGNS OF ONLINE GROOMING THROUGH GAMING.


Groomers online, through gaming, will use many different ways and techniques to gain a child’s trust. Children and teenagers need to be aware of these techniques, so they can spot the dangers immediately and report them.

Groomers Techniques in Gaming

  • They may start with general conversation or with compliments.
  • They may keep talking to you to keep your attention.
  • They may lie about themselves and use a fake profile.
  • They may buy you items in the game to help you and gain your trust and be-friend you.
  • They may ask you to carry on the conversation outside the game by asking for your mobile number or for the social media pages you use or even asking to meet up with you.


Don’t feel pressured to do any of these things, just because they have helped you with your game or made you feel better about personal problems in your life you don’t have to do anything in return. If you feel uncomfortable about anything just say no. You can also tell your parents or your older brother or sister for advice if you think anyone is behaving differently towards you online. Whenever someone asks for a picture of you, whether inappropriate or a general picture or if they have asked to meet up, these are the signs that you need to stop talking to that person and report it to your parents straight away.