This week the BBC reported on the latest online threat to children – live streaming.

Here’s the deal…


Live streaming is the ability to appear live on-screen for others to see you. This can be done on any internet enabled electronic device: phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
The usual mainstream social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat all allow some degree of live broadcasting.

But there are other dedicated live streaming apps, like Omegle, Liveme, Periscope and Lively.

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The Threat…

This week the National Crime Agency issued a threat report that highlighted the increase in online child exploitation and abuse using live streaming.

Those who wish to abuse children can easily contact, connect with and induce children into sexual or quasi-sexual acts (e.g. nudity). It all happens live and can be watched, recorded, kept and re-broadcast by adults with a sexual interest in children.

During a recent week of intensification to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse, police and NCA operations across the UK safeguarded 245 children and arrested 192 people, 18 of whom were in a position of trust. 30% of those cases involved some of the highest harm offences including live streaming, blackmail and grooming. NCA Threat Report – 5 December 2017

 

In an online survey…

Overall, parents aren’t doing a bad job of helping kids understand the need to be safe online. But there’s a way to go yet – and we have to keep going and keep up to date.

  • 84% of parents thought they had online dangers covered (child protection experts disagree, saying the information goes out of date so quickly, it’s hard for parents to keep up)
  • 30%+ of parents haven’t spoken to their kids about online safety in the last month
  • 58% were uncertain whether they had sufficient online security in place


None of wants our kids to ‘talk to strangers’! It’s up to us to stay up to date and ensure they don’t.

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The response…

  • Guidance – ThinkUKnow, NCA CEOPs education programme will offer free resources for parents and professionals (see ‘more info’ below)
  • Video – to show how offenders access children online and to encourage parents to get a better grip of online safety and to point them to the ThinkUKnow resources

 

 

What we can all do…

  • Talk – to our kids regularly about online safety
  • Insist – that they use their devices in public areas of the home
  • Update – ourselves regularly on what’s current in the online world that children occupy
  • Report – people, posts, sites that present risks to our children (use this button and keep the link bookmarked for future use)
Stuck with what to do with a troubled child or young person? Help is at hand – click here…

 

Final word…

The issue of online safety is with us to stay. The digital era of human communications is now ubiquitous and will only expand.
It’s up to those of us who work with and parent children, to ensure that we apply the same rigour to the online community that we do to those people and risks in our physical communities who would do them harm…

 

What do you think?…

  • Please let me know your thoughts…   Leave a comment below or click here.

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More info…

Image courtesy of ©ThinkUKnow

 

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