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Ways Cyber Predators Target People

While the internet has become a useful tool to stay in touch with loved ones, many predators are using it to acquire and groom targets they can abuse. The sophisticated process that they call “grooming” involves befriending and gaining a child’s trust and sometimes that of the family and friends too.

Pedophiles are extremely good at manipulating anyone by appearing as kind and helpful people; however, there are ways to identify the stages of their process to make it stop.

Targeting and building trust

To target and make kids trust them, predators try to be friends with their potential victims by engaging in conversations to help them know the child better. Through these conversations, they ascertain if a kid is unhappy, needy, or lacks adequate parental supervision as children with these problems usually become their victims.

Being aware of who is entering your child’s life is important to stop this from happening, so make sure that your kids feel free to discuss everything with you. If you can’t get your kids to open up, try using technologies like the spy phone app to look out for strangers asking your child personal questions.

Making emotional connections

Once predators have gotten to know a child, they begin forming a relationship with your child by discussing their school life and family dynamics. After making conversation about a child’s life, the predators try to fill a need that may be lacking the potential victim’s personal or family life.

For example, if your family is going through a rough patch financially, predators will offer your child money or try to pay some of your bills. If your child feels neglected, they may also try taking him/her to fun places and buy gifts, so be careful of strangers who are overly generous to your child.

Calculating odds

After forming a relationship with your child, a predator will try to determine the level of risk you pose to him as a parent/guardian. At this stage, predators start asking questions that reveal how closely your child is monitored on the internet and real life.

They will try to see how close a child is to his family and find out if a child will report them should they do something. Predators prefer staying away from children who are closely monitored, have close relationships with their parents or guardians, and from children who have been warned of predators online and in real life.

Luring children away from others

When predators think that your child can be victimized, they will try to make him/her trust them completely by making a child believe they have a special bond. Through making the child believe that they are loved and cared for, predators will look for/create situations where they can be alone.

They will often do this by reinforcing the false idea of a special bond with the child and arrange fun trips or offer to help with schoolwork. To convince their victims that they care about them, predators will give strong compliments about a target’s personality, looks or tell them openly that they are special. 

Normalizing inappropriate behavior

To make inappropriate behavior become normal, predators will introduce sexual themes like masturbation and inquiring about their target’s virginity. Other predators even start talking openly about sexual activities and get into detail to make sexual content and language become an everyday thing to a child.

Pedophiles also discuss sexual behavior with children to prepare them for real interactions. After talking about obscene things, they may also start sending photos of naked kids. To fully prepare a child for real interactions, predators will also start porn videos, so you have to act immediately if you see anything like this in your kid’s phone/computer.

Posted by Emily Dawson on Sep 17, 2020 6:07 PM Europe/London

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