Social Media has been established as an important tool for businesses and learning. It is a great way to communicate, share and create online. Unfortunately, there is a lesser known side to social media that is dark and scary. I am here to spread the word and help you realize what can go on behind closed doors and help prevent it. When using social media networks, it is easy to remain anonymous or present yourself as whoever you please. This is where online predators take advantage of the system and its impressionable users. Predators use social media to disguise their identity, learn about their victims and lure them in. Pre-teen to teenage males and females are particularly vulnerable to predators involved in sexual assaults, child pornography, sex trafficking and prostitution.
Predators online are known to present their age and identity as someone among their victims’ peer group by using fake photos and providing relevant information for them to connect with. Online offenders use social media websites to gain information about a victim’s home and school activities, daily schedule and friends. By learning the likes and habits of victims, it makes it easier to approach them and have topics to discuss. Commonly after making a connection with a victim online, predators feel comfortable enough to lure them by arranging a meet up. Before social media became a prominent figure in our lives, predators typically lured in their victims off the street or in public places which was much more risky not having established a relationship with them first.
Although using social media networks can be beneficial in many scenarios, it is important to remain informed of the potential dangers that can come with it. Some ways to ensure the safety of your children online would be to make sure they do not overshare personal information, use proper security settings, monitor your children’s online activity and to have conversations with your children informing them of the potential dangers of social media.
Did you know of the risks that social media brings regarding kidnapping and assault? Will you do anything in your personal life to be more cautious and help prevent these things from happening?
Twitter- Social Media has a Dangerous side! How Social Media Assists Kidnapping bit.ly/socialmediakidnap
Facebook- The Danger Behind the Profile! How Social Media Assists in Kidnapping bit.ly/socialmediakidnap