In cybergrooming, adults gain the trust of a child or young person on the Internet. The goal is sexual harassment or sexual abuse. Initially, the first contact begins with harmless conversations about computer games, hobbies or school. The perpetrator is particularly understanding and devotes a lot of attention to the child concerned. Most of the time, the criminals pretend to be their peers. It does not take long before nude photos are also asked for. There are also perpetrators who pose as talent scouts or model agents. Rewards are promised again and again. In principle, cybergrooming is punishable by law, and the prison sentence can be up to two years.
Preventive measures against cybergrooming
This makes it all the more important to ask yourself how your own child can be protected from cybergrooming. Trust should definitely be encouraged, parents are allowed to take an interest in the child's world. This refers to both online life and offline life. Joint discussions are required. Parents are allowed to signal to their child that they can turn to them if they have problems online without incurring a penalty. It is just as important for parents to create a so-called problem awareness in the child. The child should know that not every person on the Internet has good things in mind. There are ways in which the child can recognize these sinister intentions. An online user is not always who he claims to be. Parents should be careful with prohibitions, because a large number of children repeatedly have opportunities to use the Internet and thus come into contact with strangers. It helps to strengthen the child's gut feeling. Parents may encourage their child to listen to his or her gut feeling when something makes the child uncomfortable. It is just as important that the child learns to say no and to draw boundaries. This approach can be trained to counteract cybergrooming. The child is allowed to say when he or she does not want something.
In cybergrooming, criminals often target the personal data and photos of children and young people. The child should never disclose this personal data online, such as their cell phone number, information about school or their home address. It is the same with personal photos. The perpetrators often ask for photos in the shower or bathtub. Under no circumstances should the child ever meet someone they know from the web. In the overall cybergrooming situation, parents should react as objectively and calmly as possible and stay calm. Panic is not required here.