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Nowadays, children spend much of their time on the internet visiting social networks and communicating with each other using instant messengers. Therefore, some of the relationships that children face in real life are transferred into the virtual world. In this article, we will look at some of the threats to psyche and health that children may encounter online.
1) Cyber harassment
Children can be persecuted online by peers and adults. In local children’s groups, individuals sometimes are harassed and humiliated. The same relationships are transferred online to social networks. Photos and videos of a compromising nature are often used for this.
Adults can also expose children to harassment on the internet. Because a child’s psyche is not yet formed, it is easier for an adult to have a psychological effect on a child or force a child to take certain actions. This tactic is used by pedophiles, in particular. Having received compromising information, photos or videos, pedophiles can blackmail children and compel them to engage in illegal activities.
2) Blue Whale
Blue Whale Game Challenge is a suicide game, which is killing teens through social media. Starting as a simple game in a social network with some tasks that have to be done in the real world, it coerces a teenager to perform increasingly complex and insane tasks. The fulfillment of such tasks often leads to the teenager’s death.
A chat message from a Blue Whale group administrator.
Momo is a malicious contact in WhatsApp, a popular instant messenger app. The avatar of this contact is a photograph of a sculpture of a young woman with long black hair, big round eyes, an unnatural smile and the claws of a bird instead of legs. After the chat begins, this contact starts sending alarming messages.
This is a new threat to children, which appears in WhatsApp. This contact links to pornographic resources. Experts believe these mailings are targeted at children.
A chat with Olivia
How Can I Protect My Children from Internet Dangers?
First of all, remember that in adolescence, peers have strong influence on children. In addition, children become more withdrawn and hide some of their private life from their parents. To prevent parents from reading their correspondence, adolescents delete messages and hide information about the accounts they use on social networks. Facing threats on the internet, children often try to solve these problems on their own – and often still plunge into trouble.
What can parents do? Of course, they should monitor their children’s communication on the internet and, if necessary, contact specialists in digital forensics. As a rule, children and teens use smartphones and tablets more than laptops for surfing the internet, visiting social networks and chatting in instant messengers. Our experts at Digital Forensics Corp. can retrieve web accounts, web history, emails and chats – including deleted messages and files.
Here is a sample of the data extracted from a mobile device in one case, showing that our forensic examiners can recover calls, contacts, chats, emails, MMS messages, SMS messages, images and video files.
Parents have good reason to be concerned about what their children are doing online these days. A professional digital forensics examiner can provide the information needed to ease parents’ minds.
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