Did you know that 99% of young people aged 12 to 17 have used the internet and that 87% do so regularly?
Cyberpredators are well aware of this, and they are always looking for vulnerable people in this massive pool of web surfers. They look for people who need attention. They target chat sessions where they pretend to be teenagers, too. Then they encourage people to take off their clothes in front of their webcams.
Some offer teens a chance to make some quick money, and the next thing they know, they are caught up in prostitution. This type of invitation is most likely to take place on cool-looking websites run by street gangs.
Here are some strategies that cyberpredators like to use:
In order to meet teens, cyberpredators use all sorts of techniques to entice them away from their home, school or other safe places. They make all sorts of promises to get teens to meet them or use gifts or money as bait.
Protect your personal information: name, phone number, address, age, gender, name of your school and password.
Be careful about the information you reveal in blogs
Don't post your photo online
Be careful about your virtual friends
Limit your contact list to friends you know in person
Be wary in discussions with strangers
Never accept gifts, money, etc.
Don't meet with someone in person whom you only know online
If you decide to meet someone in person whom you only know online
Tell your parents or another adult you trust
Meet in a public place
Always go with a friend or parent
If you come across sites that show the sexual exploitation of minors or recruit teens for juvenile prostitution, you can take action. Here's what to do:
A. Cases involving peer-to-peer technology are extremely difficult to investigate, but this is the information you need if you decide to alert the police:
A. Write down the exact address and send it to Cybertip. If you know about a child who is in immediate danger or risk, call 911.
A. Try to get as much information as you can to relay to your local police service:
With the MIRC client program, for example, the "/whois " command provides complete information about a user.
If your suspicions arise from a conversation you had, try to save the conversation. To save the conversation using MIRC, use the "/log on" command.
All software programs offer identification and save features with different levels of detail. Refer to your chat program documentation.
To see some real cases of cyberexploitation, go to the RCMP's Internet 101 site, which has extensive information on the topic: