In Goulburn, New South Wales, a 38 year old man has been arrested after allegedly grooming a 14 year old girl he had met on a social networking site. Fortunately in this scenario the male was actually speaking to an Undercover Detective from Strike Force Trawler of the Child Exploitation Internet Unit who was posing as the teenager. Police will allege the conversations held between the two online were sexually explicit and plans had been made to meet in person before the male was eventually arrested.
It is understood the male has been charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under 16; two counts of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16; and being a disqualified driver.
With Internet access becoming commonplace in every household, scenarios such as these is every Parent’s nightmare. Given the rise in teenagers also having access to the Internet via smart phones and portable technology such as IPads, Parents are consistently faced with new challenges how to keep their children safe and out of harms way online. Unlike the television and radio, children can interact with anyone online and may not be as anonymous as they believe they are. Added to the mix is the fact many children know more about computers and the Internet than their own Parents.
So how can Parents ensure their children are safe online? It’s important your child realises that people online might not be who they say they are and could be dangerous. They should also be aware that any personal information they give out can be used in financial scams or for bullying.
The Australian Government recommends Parents tell their children not to:
- give out personal information to people they only know online – this includes name, home address, landline and mobile numbers, bank details, PIN numbers and passwords
- supply details for registration without asking for permission and help from you
- visit chat websites that aren’t fully moderated/supervised
- arrange to meet an online friend in person without your knowledge and permission (if you agree to let them, you should always go along with them)
- give any indication of their age or sex in a personal email address or screen name
- keep anything that worries or upsets them online secret from you
- respond to unwanted emails or other messages
– Checking your child’s internet use by checking the history folder on your browser as it contains a list of previously visited sites.
– Cybersafety Help Button The Australian Government’s Cybersafety Help Button provides internet users, particularly children and young people, with easy online access to cybersafety information and assistance available in Australia. It offers counselling, reporting and educational resources to assist young people deal with online risks including cyberbullying, unwanted contact, scams and fraud, and offensive or inappropriate material.
– Internet Predator Tracker Created by Private Investigator Joseph Seanor, the Internet predator tracker is created to help people learn how to protect their children and others online.
– Social Privacy Protector A new Facebook application which can scan your friends list to determine the likelihood of a Facebook friend being a fake. (NB: This plugin is only available for Firefox browsers and although recommended by safety sites such as Facecrooks.com, it has had mixed reactions from users who have questioned the accuracy of this application).
Online Investigations has extensive experience in assisting Parents and Guardians concerned about their children’s online activity. For those who are concerned their child may be a victim of cyberbullying, identity theft, scams or have concerns about who their child is interacting with online – speak with one of our Investigators today for a detailed consultation.
Online Investigations Pty Ltd are a private investigation company based in Melbourne, Australia. Experienced private investigators and detectives in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Worldwide. Servicing Canberra, Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and International.