An alarming new study is out, and if you are a parent, you should take note…children as young as 8-years old are being sexually exploited via social media. This is a definite downturn from past research, and it seems like one thing is to blame: live streaming.
YouTube serves up videos of kids, in clothing, that pedophiles consume and share as if it is child porn. It’s gotten so bad that YouTube has had to disable the comments sections of videos with kids in them.
Apps like TikTok are very popular with younger kids, and they are also becoming more popular for the sexual predators who seek out those kids. These apps are difficult to moderate, and since it happens in real time, you have a situation that is almost perfectly set up for exploitation.
Last year, a survey found that approximately 57 percent of 12-year olds and 28% of 10-year olds are accessing live-streaming content. However, legally, the nature of much of this content should not be accessed by children under the age of 13. To make matters worse, about 25 percent of these children have seen something while watching a live stream that they and their parents regretted them seeing
Protecting Your Children
Any child can become a victim here, but as a parent, there are some things you can do to protect your kids. First, you should ask yourself the following questions:
It is also important that you, as a parent, look for red flags in your children’s behavior. Here are some of those signs:
It might sound like the perfect solution is to “turn off the internet” at home, but remember, your kids can access the internet in other ways, including at school and at the homes of their friends. It would be great to build a wall around your kids to keep them safe, but that’s not practical, nor is it in their best interest. Instead, talk to your child about online safety and make sure the entire family understands the dangers that are out there.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Y.... See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.