Grooming: the silent danger that lurks in the network

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The anonymity is one of the words that best define the internet. During the days that our children spend browsing it is possible to find someone who is not who they say they are. A problem that adults easily know how to solve but that the youngest can become overwhelmed, especially when the person who is lying is posing as someone of the same age and requests Private information.

This cheating on the internet is known as grooming, a danger that lurks in the networks and that can arrive at any time silently and that has been encouraged by the expansion of devices such as smartphones and tablets.

What is grooming

The grooming it is a phenomenon that could be translated into Spanish as "cajoling" and that describes those online practices that some adults do to gain the trust of a minor by pretending to be who they are not. This person shows empathy, love, etc. for the purpose of attracting minors for sexual purposes (such as obtaining intimate photographs of the victim.

This problem does not end in obtaining these photographs but rather usually go more there. Once this goal is achieved, the harasser threatens the victim with publishing these images if he does not send more. A suggestion that takes advantage of the fear that the child has to be discovered by their parents.

What to do against grooming

The best is always prevent rather than cure. If the minors are going to start using the internet autonomously or when they can already have profiles on social networks, it is necessary to remind them of some means to prevent grooming:

1. Not provide never images or private information to anyone on the internet. Much less share private experiences from which blackmail can arise.

2. Avoid that private elements as passwords or any other password to access profiles on social networks fall into the hands of those who should not know them.

3. Being always alert and never accept anyone on social networks that is unknown. Even if friendships are shared on these platforms, it is always preferable to keep them away.

5. Ask for help in any of these cases. The child should know that he will never be alone and that if he is in one of these situations, there will be an adult to support him and make everything happen.

6. Have a good safety equipment to prevent the invasion of other users. A good antivirus and anti-spyware programs must always be installed on the computer.

7. Always report. It is necessary to inform the authorities about this crime once they have proof of it. It is the only way to put an end to this problem because even if the minor is saved, it can happen that someone else becomes a victim.

8. Computer always in the living room. If the child uses Internet in front of everyone, you can always perceive attitudes that indicate nervousness because of one of these cases.

Damián Montero

Video: For Child Abuse Survivors: Family Relationships

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