Vig­i­lance needed when kids on net

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

NOT ev­ery­one on so­cial me­dia is who they ap­pear to be.

The rel­a­tive anonymity of post­ing on­line means peo­ple can lie about their age, their lo­ca­tion and even their gen­der.

With so­cial me­dia be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar do­main for young peo­ple, and as more and more chil­dren start spend­ing reg­u­lar time on­line at an ear­lier age, on­line preda­tors con­tinue to be an area of con­cern for WA Po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, on­line preda­tors can spend weeks, months and even years ‘groom­ing’ chil­dren they meet on­line by pre­tend­ing to be friends, making them feel loved and send­ing gifts.

Once trust has been gained, they usu­ally start in­tro­duc­ing sex­ual con­tent to the con­ver­sa­tion or ask­ing to meet.

Po­lice urge par­ents to be more vig­i­lant about their chil­dren and the in­ter­net by en­sur­ing the com­puter is in a com­mon area so it can be mon­i­tored, hav­ing a set time limit and talk­ing to them about the dan­gers of the in­ter­net.

Con­tact po­lice im­me­di­ately if any­one in the house has re­ceived child pornog­ra­phy, if a child has been sex­u­ally so­licited or if a child has re­ceived sex­ual im­ages.

Visit www.cy­bers­mart.gov.au or www.thinku­know.org.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

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