Predators Are Using Webcams to Prey on Children According to This Study

Technology has created a lot of new opportunities that never existed in the past, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it has also brought its fair share of unforeseen problems. The Internet Watch Foundation recently highlighted one of the most pervasive toxic elements of the online world, namely the use of webcams to capture images of CSA. Such images have increased ten times in their number since 2019, and they point to a huge issue with online culture.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that social media as well as online forums such as chatrooms are allowing a lot of these activities to take place. Predators are able to find vulnerable children through these online portals, and they then gain access to their webcams. Once this access has been obtained, predators use them to generate images of sexual abuse which can then be distributed through the dark web.

The researchers created a chatbot that posed as a pubescent girl, generally around 13 to 14 years of age, and conducted 953 separate conversations with adult men through these chat rooms. A startling proportion of these conversations were sexual in nature, and 39% of them included a link sent by the predator which the supposed child was encouraged to click on.

19% of these links contained malware, and 5% linked to sites that would “phish” the victim by taking control of all of their log in credentials once they tried to sign in. As many as 41% of these links led to a video conferencing software called Whereby which was created by a Norway based corporation that specializes in tech.

The popularity of Whereby is crucial because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing predators to manipulate the settings and spy on the child. This is just one of the many ways in which technology is facilitating the sexual abuse of children, and more effort need to be put into keeping these harmful activities at bay.

H/T: TheConversation

Read next: Google And Instagram In The Spotlight As New Reports Speak Of Rise In Online Child Exploitation Rates
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