Cybersecurity initiatives aim to protect potential victims from apparently unknown, but at times charming, predators. The consequences of sexual predator cyber-attacks are direct as well as insidious and demand human and computer counter-measures to allow minors and young adults to conduct their daily lives without fear, despair, or depression. Sexual victimization threats bully, brutalize, and traumatize. Rather than avoidance and despair in response to on-line predators, youth must learn the precursors of sexual predation such as flattery, attention, and “trust” building, and learn techniques to confront potential threats. Children, teenagers, and young adults must be informed about the false sense of security that oftentimes makes them vulnerable targets for disguised predators in cyberspace. Teachers, parents, and other peers must enhance youth awareness of the danger in cyberspace of sexual predation to develop resilience and avoid victimization, self-blame, and revictimization. An effective technique of prevention is role playing of adults (teachers and parents), and children and youth, in pairs and in groups. Adults and youth would interact on line alternatively posing as sexual predators and victims. Through the cyber interaction, youth, parents, teachers and criminal justice personnel would play the role of children and young people adopting specific profiles such as the withdrawn youth who has been rejected by peers in schools and sometimes at home by parents in order to learn about at-risk identity, cyberextortion, and cyder-sexual predation. Additionally, youth need a forum in schools to share information and to obtain the support of adult professionals. Harnessing social support, provision of resources and information, lack of disinformation and panic, and other protective measures would be some of the cyber-protection factors of a strength-based framework, in contrast to isolation and at times revictimization. In conclusion, cybersecurity and countermeasures build human agency and control and allow youth to avoid being victims and to be resilient from cyber threats as part of a joint enterprise of computer specialists, parents, teachers, law enforcement, and peers.
The textbook used for CJS 200 for the last 15 years is Cole and Smith’s Criminal Justice in America. In chapter 14 Technology and CRJ (2018: 9thed, p 485) it is written
“Other offenders use the Internet to disseminate child pornography, to advertise sexual services, or to stalk the unsuspecting. Police department have given special emphasis to stopping computer predators who establish online relationships with juveniles in order to manipulate those children into sexual victimization (Newton, 2016). Thus, officers often pose as juveniles in ‘chat rooms’ to see if sexual predators will attempt to cultivate a relation and set up a personal meeting. However, local police departments face challenges in training and equipping officers to investigate online child pornography and other cybercrimes.”
This module expands upon this discussion of cyber sexual predators.
The author would like to thank Brenda Geiger, Phd, Phd, Professor Criminal Justice, Psychologist, Bar Ilan Universit, consultant
and 5.25.2018 Cyber Security Workshop team member Samuel Olatunbosun – Computer Science NSU,