What is cyber grooming?
Cyber grooming is one such growing cyber threat faced by children and adolescents. It is a process where one tries to gain the confidence of children or adolescents to establish an emotional relationship through social media or messaging platforms to target sexual harassment or exploitation. After creating a fake account, a cyber groomer behaves like a child and contacts through social media, email, chat rooms, instant messaging, etc.
Today, the internet, computers, smartphones, and other communication technology devices have become an integral part of our lives. Imagine how much time each of our lives spends using these smart devices.
We use internet communication media like Google, emails, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc. These have become an integral part of our daily activities. Still, most of us are concerned about cyber security and are unaware of the necessary security measures to protect ourselves from cybercrimes.
Do you know that many of us do not even realize that we are online grooming up?
The online groomer must be an acquaintance, relative, or unknown person. We can meet them online through social media platforms, chat rooms, online gaming portals, etc.
Initially, the cyber groomer may praise you, offer gifts, marketing jobs. Later, he starts sending messages, photographs, or videos and sends you porn photos or may ask you to share.
Are you worried about cyber grooming?
Don’t worry; you can use the internet and mobile technology without hesitation and caution.
You have to be vigilant and protect yourself and your friends from the cyber gang. Security measures need to be followed. Online groomers often target teens because many physical, personal, and social changes occur in teens with age. Teenagers’ passion and curiosity keep them engaged in online activities so that they become victims of online cyber grooming. There is a profound effect on physical, emotional, and psychological education and affects their everyday lives significantly. The harmful effects of cyber grooming often last for a long time and trouble the victim even in her youth.
How to save yourself from cyber grooming?
- Do not accept friend requests from unknown persons on social media platforms. Cyber groomers can also create fake accounts to be friends with the victim.
- Do not share your personal information on social media or other online platforms, such as your date of birth and address.
- Do not share phone numbers and school names.
- To restrict, who can access your online posts? You go to the privacy section on the social media platform, update your profile, and limit the reach to friends only, not the public.
- Be alert when your chat partner praises your physical beauty within a short period.
- Don’t talk to people who ask you questions about your physical and sexual experiences. Of course, you can ask the person not to ask such questions and say that you feel uncomfortable. Still, he does the same, then immediately inform your parents.
- Don’t talk to people who ask you to share your photos and videos.
- If you share your photo or video with someone, that person can share them with any or post them on social media. Then he can blackmail you too.
- When your chat partner is not connected to the webcam, do not connect to your webcam. Please don’t turn it on.
- If your chat partner tells you to keep this conversation private, talk to your elders or parents.
- Do not go alone to meet that person you met online. Always take a friend or an older person with you.
- Do not install unknown and unnecessary software and apps from sources like legacy apps, online games, etc.
- Be especially vigilant when chatting in a chat room. Please do not share our personal information in the chat room and limit your identity.
Authored by: Mr. Praveen Bhargava, Professor, Mandsaur University, Mandsaur, MP, India.
Disclaimer: This post is for public knowledge and awareness.
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