Have you heard of cyber trafficking?

When trafficking is committed with the use of Internet, it is called “cyber‐trafficking.” Child trafficking, cyber bullying, pornography, etc are all cyber crimes that are now greatly prevalent among children in India.  As children are spending more time online now than ever, many are unsupervised. Since the strict lockdown was imposed in India, there has been a 95% increase in the usage of porn sites and a large content of pornography viewed online are of trafficked and exploited children. With every child pornography video made and viewed, a child has been abused. The individuals who consume this content will most likely normalise this kind of behaviour and violation of children.

According to Europol’s report on ‘Pandemic Profiteering,’ it is stated that there is an increase in online activity by those seeking child abuse material globally. The report found a strong connection between this increased activity online with that of the online postings by offenders on different forums. Trafficking is often associated with those that are poor and vulnerable but cyber trafficking does not only target those from the lower strata of the society. Everyone with an internet connection and a smart phone is vulnerable, irrespective of their economic status in the country.

While we actively protect our children from the coronavirus, we should also protect them from predators looking to groom children online and traffic or abuse them. So how can we protect our children? Here are a few simple pointers for parents:

  • Make the best use of parental control and supervision. Track child’s daily online activity.
  • Make all your social media accounts private and/or supervise your child’s online activity.
  • If your child receives any unwanted contact from strangers delete the chat and block the individual immediately.
  • Educate your child on cyber crimes and prevention methods.
  • Build an open and trusting relationship with your child.
  • Grow their interest in more offline activities.
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