Learn some common tricks of online predators
Young people who make friends with strangers online could be at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). If you know of someone who has made friends with strangers online it is very important that you tell someone just in case they are at risk of harm.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger
or Gloucestershire police on 101
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There may be strangers online who are looking to make friends with children and young people so they can abuse or hurt them in some way. This does not happen all the time but here are some tricks which people may use to try and get you to become their friend.
How to avoid predators online
Don't fall for their charm.
Predators can be very nice, friendly people, especially to children. If someone is continually trying to get you alone, or to isolate you from your friends or family, there is something wrong there. It's best not to ever agree to meet anyone in person who you have only contacted online. If you do wish to meet with someone you must always tell an adult and suggest they come along with you for the first meeting. Always meet in a public place in the daytime.
Referring to people you know
Often they may claim they know someone you do. They may not have any other information other that a name. If any of your friends are mentioned check to see if they know this person and how they came across them before you talk to them again. If they ask any questions about your friends do not give any details or information to them.
Do not give any of your personal contact information
i.e. phone number, e-mail, address, school location
Predators will appear to have a lot of interest in you and your activities. They often find this from looking at other websites or even joining on line societies or clubs which you may be a member. If they know a lot about you or are asking many questions about where you hang out, if you are members of school clubs, sports clubs etc. be aware this is suspicious - do not tell them anything. If you feel you have to give them some information do not give any specific details about where you go and who you socialise with.
Take action if you suspect you are dealing with a predator
- Tell someone you trust. Predators depend on your silence. They count on you to keep your suspicions to yourself because you don't want to embarrass anyone, including yourself. If you aren't sure, but are suspicious, tell a trusted adult family member, friend, or teacher, even if it's just to alert them to keep an eye on this person, too.
- Each time he or she seems suspicious in any way, and their behaviour alarms you, mention it to a trusted adult or an authority.
- If this isn't the case or if it doesn't work, then avoid the predator whenever possible. Block them form social networking sites. If they did have any of your personal details i.e. phone number or e-mail you must change it so they can no longer contact you.