5. Sexual Solicitation
Contrary to popular belief, children and teenagers are more likely to be solicited online by peers their own age. A majority of these online sexual solicitations are by males between the ages of 18 and 55. As previously discussed in part 1, their victims almost always go willingly to meet these predators. Around 26 percent of online sex offenders found out their victims exact whereabouts by using information posted on the victim’s social networking site.
As the internet grows, so does solicitation of minors for sex. This is another reason it is important for individuals not to make their whereabouts and contact information public.
6. Friends With Strangers
Often, teenagers and sometimes even adults are Facebook friends and have conversations online with individuals they have never met in person. Teenagers are trusting – often willing to meet with strangers. A recent study found 16% of teenagers have simply considered meeting someone that they have conversed with online, and 8% have actually physically met with someone.
7. Public Social Media
A recent study found that only 62% of teenagers have their Facebook account set to private. A staggering 17% have all of their information, including contact information.
8. Explicit Photos
Research indicates one in seven teenagers have taken a nude or semi-nude photograph of themselves, and over half of those photographs taken have been shared with another person via the internet. It is important to note once something crosses the internet, there is no way to remove it.
9. Online Bullying
There are some anonymous conversational apps and sites where individuals can post information or ask questions to others. These anonymous apps, including Whisper, Ask.FM, and Yik Yak, are dangerous since they promote bullying. Hiding behind a computer screen, anonymous bullies can easily tease, taunt, and put down others.
Whether you believe it or not, adults are suspectible to cyber bullying, just as are children and teenagers. Parents should guides their children to never respond to threatening or obscure messages, always remain diligent, and report any abuse, whether suspected or proven.