Children and young people may not understand that there are risks in making friends with people online they do not already know. But they often do know:
- to keep their information private,
- not to send photos of themselves to anyone they haven’t met in person; and,
- not to share details of their lives with anyone they have not met in person.
So, why does online child sexual abuse and exploitation still occur?
Perpetrators know the messages children are taught about online safety online and can manipulate and deceive children in order to take advantage of them. They can be highly skilled at deception, and lead children to do things they are not comfortable with. That is why adults should be aware of the signs.