5 Measures against Sexual Exploitation of Your Children

The first part of the slogan of our observatory dedicated to predict and prevent all forms of violence against children refers to our “predictive attitudes” These attitudes imply to take a series of measures, in diverse areas. This post focuses on 5 measures that we should have present in the use we make ourselves of the Internet and mobile applications in relation to our children, so they are not detected by children’s exploitation networks. We think this would never happen to “us”, but in fact it is happening. 

Currently it is not enough to aware children of the importance for making a responsible use of the Internet. Now it is also necessary to appeal to the responsibility of adults, since they too are exposing children without thinking about the possible consequences. New technologies and networking tools and platforms, like chat rooms, dating sites or online gaming, present further opportunities for interaction; but they also increase the opportunity for offenders to target vulnerable children.

Children have great value in the market of sexual exploitation, and although victims are younger and younger, critical ages range from 9 to 12, and in the next level, from 12 to 16. The actual use we do of technology increases the number of opportunities that facilitate sexual exploitation of children. Ones the images have been posted, or shared via the Internet; there is little control over who can access them. At the same time GPS software is available for mobile devices providing the coordinates that identify the location where a photograph was taken. This is one of the reasons that lead us to declare that it would be necessary to regulate the use of smartphones and their applications in a law that establishes the age limits, as it is the case for the driving license.

Unfortunately, the families of 9 year old children are giving tablets and smartphones without thinking about the consequences, or about their needs. In fact, 76% of children in Spain between 11 and 14 years old use Whatsapp on a regular basis, either on their own mobile phones or on their parents’ device, while the company’s policy underlines the minimum age to use this application is 16. However, you can follow the prevailing trends and listen to banal excuses that they are “digital natives” entering a game that not even adults can control, or you may think about our advice below, and choose to change your attitudes to protect yourselves and your children.

We now present 5 measures to protect your children’s detection on the Internet. Content is available only for registered users. Please login or register

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