The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has placed a document “Online Safety Guide, Safe Use of Social Media.” PTA talks about possible online dangers and gives tips on how to stay safe and responsible online and leave a good digital footprint (Online Safety Guide).
“Content” refers to any kind of information that is done a post and shared online. Even though there are a lot of positive things on the internet, there are also a lot of things that are bad for a person’s mental health.
Predators and other bad people use online platforms to speed up and spread their illegal and harmful behavior. Someone you meet online might not be whom they say they are. “Grooming” is the process by which online predators find vulnerable young people, get to know them, and then use them for sexual purposes.
How Online Harassment Works in Exact Terms (Online Safety Guide)
- Young people sometimes trust abusers whose real names they don’t even know.
- Online groomers often use fake names to trick their victims.
People who want to upset young people pose as them on popular social media sites. Based on how weak they think the victim is, they try to make friends with them by pretending to share the same interests, using stolen photos, sending gifts, getting followers, or revealing “secrets.”
- Making both themselves and their target feel safe and at ease.
After they’ve done earn the trust of young victims, groomers often ask for sexually explicit photos or videos. If the person doesn’t do what they want, they’ll try emotional blackmail by saying they’ll block them. Because the victim feels helpless, they may send sexually explicit photos to the groomer, which the groomer can then use to get money from them.
- It doesn’t matter whom you choose as your groomer.
One of the people who prey on people online is someone the victim knows. They will also use the Internet to learn more about their target. Young people may not even realize they are doing groom because groomers can put on convincing acts of charm, goodwill, and even help.
What kinds of online places let people “groom” in a sexually explicit way?
Online predators target kids and teens by following them on sites and apps that those age groups are most likely to use (including job forums and gaming sites). They could also be the same age or younger than the victim. Before asking for the victim’s phone number, the predator may try to talk to them or give them the advice to gain their trust.
Possible Danger Signs
Someone who contacts you online is a stranger or someone you already know. A few years older, a few years younger, or the same age as you. Abusers will also lie about who they are, where they are, and what they want to do.
Here are some red flags:
- Predators are experts at making their victims feel uncomfortable by asking them pointed questions and pushing them to their limits.
- Don’t doubt your own judgment. If you try to video chat with them, they say their app is having technical problems and they can’t see you. They say that you can’t see them because their webcam or video app is broken.
- They ask to see private photos of you or your family and say inappropriate things about your looks. Anyone who compliments you online without giving a reason is then did avoid.
- They keep trying to get in touch with you in different ways. For example, if they meet you on Reddit, they might send you a direct message asking for your phone number.
- They want to meet with you and say things like, “I really want to see you in person.” If you don’t agree, they become rude or angry.
- People who want to traumatize you don’t want other people to know anything about you. They might tell you to just text them or call them when you’re alone.
- Someone comes up to you and asks you for something valuable, like money or a favor. Once the groomer has did receive the victim’s trust, he or she may ask for money or help. They will use the victim’s trust to make false promises and claims about their relationship with the victim in order to get what they want.
How to Keep from Getting into Trouble with Strangers
- Make sure that your online accounts are in a safe place.
By changing your privacy settings, you can control who can see your online content and contact you.
- Throw away the trash and get rid of the contacts.
Check the list of people you know through social media. Check your claims that you know someone. People who haven’t posted in a long time or who seem suspicious then do take off the site.
- Proof in pictures
Screenshot any message, photo, phone number, or other things that make you feel unsafe.
- Reports and bans
After gathering enough proof (screenshots), you can report the offender directly to the platform and then ban their account so they can’t contact you again.
- Tell the right people