When you give children an electronic device or allow them to use a computer, mobile phone or tablet, you are giving children permission to navigate the internet on their own terms. This sense of digital freedom makes it easy for children to create online accounts on social media and gaming platforms – sometimes without their parents’ permission or even their knowledge.
Most online platforms or chatrooms do not require any formal or legitimate identification which means anyone can join and create profiles as themselves…or as someone else.
Fake profiles and accounts are usually created by criminals who exploit individuals online for personal or financial gain.
For children and young people, the internet has become a meeting place to chat and game with friends they know and friends they don’t.
These ‘don’t’ friends may falsify their information online to meet and exploit young people into criminal acts, such as sending sexually explicit images and images of themselves online.
In Victoria, when a young person shares an explicit image or video of themselves, it is known as Child Abuse Material (or CAM).
There’s a hierarchy of indictable Child Abuse Material offences in Victoria which includes the creation, possession, distribution, production and selling of explicit images, footage, written material, drawings and depictions of persons under 18 years of age.
While Crime Stoppers aim to stop the online supply of explicit images and videos from behind-the-screen, we are here to support and educate the public on protecting young people from perpetrators of Child Abuse Material.
We want parents to know how they can keep their children safe online and children to know how to navigate the internet carefully.
Sexual predators may be difficult to detect offline – but online, there are many ways to reveal who these people really are. Crime Stoppers have online resources for parents, teens and children on how to detect online grooming behaviour and to help protect each other from online predators.
To understand how kids’ games and apps work can be as hard as learning a new language. But taking just five minutes to change the privacy settings on your kids’ devices could be the difference between your child making friends with another kid online or a sexual predator.
Even if your child is presented with the information and resources to protect themselves against online predators, we understand that the worst can still happen. Online predators groom all children – even kids who are aware of fake online profiles or suspicious behaviour.
We want parents and young children to know there is always a solution. If your child sends an image or video to someone online, have it removed by making a report to www.esafety.gov.au.
If you have any information about the possession, production or distribution of Child Abuse Material in Victoria, please make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
How To Turn Off Fake Friends? is a safety guide for kids on making real friends online.
Are You Friends With An Online Glitch? is a safety guide for teens on detecting online grooming behaviour online.
Is Your Child Talking To An Online Glitch? is a safety guide for parents and adults to help their children and teens to understand online grooming behaviour.
Watch Is Your Child Talking To An Online Glitch? here: