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Online child predation rising during COVID lockdown

I attended (remotely) a Council of Europe cybercrime webinar on the impact of COVID on cybercrime last week. One of the most disturbing criminal activities discussed was the rise in reports of online predation.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has received 4.2 million reports in April. That’s up 2 million from March 2020 and nearly 3 million from April 2019. (Forbes, 9 May 2020).

This is not surprising - nearly everyone who is connected is spending more time on the Internet - but it's still terrifying.

Look to the many government agencies have parental guidelines to help identify child abuse, exploitation or grooming.

The US FBI (https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/cac) has information about grooming, trafficking, sextortion and other abuses. In the UK, the NCA (https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/what-we-do/crime-threats/child-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation) offers similar information

The US DHA (https://www.dhs.gov/blog/2011/08/09/protect-your-kids-cyber-predators) shares tips for parents. I also found a helpful guidelines report from UK West Midlands (https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/safeguarding-children-and-c8c.pdf). And you'll find additional information at Stop.Think.Connect Parent and Educator resources (https://www.cisa.gov/publication/stopthinkconnect-parent-and-educator-resources).



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