Blackmail, webcams and staying safe online

Posted on 20 September 2013

Research from CEOP launched today has found that, in the last two years, 184 UK children have been a victim of some form of online sexual blackmail. Some of these children have gone on to self harm or take their own lives.

In their press release, CEOP explain that “The children are usually forced into performing these acts after the offender, who often initially pretends to be a child, threatens to share their naked pictures with friends and family unless they do as they are told.”

The NSPCC has set up a 24/7 dedicated helpline for anyone worried about this issue on 0800 328 0904 and calls can be made anonymously.

At Childnet, we have recently launched a Video Chat and Webcams advice sheet for young people, with top tips and technical advice for using video chat and webcams safely.

24,000 young people aged 7-19 years responded to our Have your Say survey which was launched for Safer Internet Day 2013. It was found that 28% of 7-11s and 52% of 11-19s use webcam and video chat services. It is important that all young people know how to protect themselves while using these services, so they can have a safe and enjoyable time online.

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