Cyber grooming is when someone (often an adult) befriends a child online and builds an emotional connection with future intentions of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. The main goals of cyber grooming are: to gain trust from the child, to obtain intimate and personal data from the child (often sexual in nature—such as sexual conversations, pictures, or videos) in order to threaten and blackmail for further inappropriate material.
Perpetrators often take on fake identities of a child or teen and approach their victims in child-friendly websites, leaving children vulnerable and unaware of the fact that they have been approached for purposes of cyber grooming. This advisory from the Cyber Security Authority is dedicated to help parents check their wards safety online when it comes to Cyber Grooming
Role of Parent in tackling Cyber Grooming
- Ensure you talk with your children to make sure they understand why age limits are in place. The companies behind these platforms have these limits in place to help protect young children from potential online dangers
- Find out what platforms your children use. If you know what platforms your children are accessing and using, then you can read into the age limits for these and also how safe they really are. Knowing this information can help you protect your child.
- Install software/filters to stop your children accessing inappropriate sites. There are many pieces of software that can allow you to block access to certain sites that you feel may be inappropriate for your children.
- Make sure your children know they can always come to you with any issues. Ensuring your children know that you will help them with any issues they may have online can help prevent them from keeping any problems to themselves and enabling them to get worse.
- Teach your children to be aware of strangers online and that if they don’t know someone who’s trying to talk to them, the best thing to do is not reply and block them.
Report any Cyber Grooming incident to the Cyber Security Authority through any of our Points of Contact for assistance.