According to the Global Threat Assessment 2021, 54% of children globally have experienced at least one harmful online sexual encounter in their lifetime.

Our Gen Z’s and Alpha’s entire lives are digital. Children grow up immersed in social media, their academic and social lives have gone from in person to online, and technology has kept them entertained and connected to friends and family. But with an increase in connectivity, comes an increase in exposure to threats, including child sexual abuse. Internet grooming of children has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, making 2021 one of the worst years on record for child sexual abuse.

Quick Facts:

  • 29% of children have received sexually explicit content from an adult they knew or someone they did not know
  • 25% of children has an adult they know or something they did not know ask them to keep part of their sexually explicit interactions online a secret
  • 29% have had someone share sexually explicit images/videos of them without their permission
  • 34% were asked to do something sexually explicit online they were uncomfortable with or did not want to do

Child sexual abuse material (CSAM) has a catastrophic impact on affected children. For decades, CSAM has been produced and shared online to satisfy corrupt adult obsessions, and in recent years, these twisted fantasies have continued to grow exponentially. Social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Tik Tok, Reddit and Snapchat, have removed millions of posts and images that fall under child abuse. Digital devices can be an open door into your home, and children are especially vulnerable charmed into predator’s traps. Here are some ways parents and guardians can reduce the risk of CSAM:

  • Learn about the growing issue of child sexual abuse so you can recognize behaviours/situations and mitigate the risks
  • Respond to interactions between children and adults. If you are suspicious or uncomfortable with the way an adult is interacting with a child, take action
  • Teach your child about personal safety
  • Protect children from harm by using Netsweeper’s onGuard platform

At Netsweeper, it is our mission to ensure that children are safe online and are not exposed to harmful content or become a victim. This includes using our AI technology which identifies and categorizes new websites and can block harmful content in real time. For more information on child exploitation and CSAM and ways to prevent it, book a demo with one of our solution experts and check our other related blog posts.