To best protect your children from online predators, you need to do more than just monitor your child’s screen time. According to cybersecurity expert Chris Hadnagy, you need to know where predators hang out and how to spot the code words criminals use to lure and expose children.
“There is more child pornography being produced than ever and children are spending time online in places that predators visit,” he continued.
In 2017, Hadnagy created the association “The Innocent Lives Foundation” after its IT company, Social-Engineer.com, captured an employee of one of his clients using his corporate computer to produce and trade child pornography. Hadnagy and his team worked with law enforcement to arrest this man.
Since then, Hadnagy has discovered the secret and dark world of child predators.
Hadnagy says during COVID-19, child predators troll homework sites and hang out on online video games that have two-way conversation.
“And then they try to move it from one game to something like Kik or Instagram or Facebook or Google Hangouts. We see it a lot,” Hadnagy said.
He says child predators use the same code words as teenagers like “lol” or “tbh,” but they also use code words to communicate with other pedophiles.
“Before, we used to use one called ‘cheese pizza’ – CP stands for child pornography,” he said.
“They were like, ‘Who would like a slice of cheese pizza? “And it would be a code word for another pedophile that they would be willing to trade that kind of content,” Hadnagy explained.
He also warns parents to be careful about the photos they post online.
“If you have a public Instagram or a public Facebook and you post a photo and it’s #bathtime, something like that, there are predators that collect photos like that,” he warns. .
And children themselves should be careful when sharing personal information online.
“They’ll go to these chat rooms with other teens and they’ll assume they’re other teens and they’ll say, ‘Dude, I hate that, my mom and dad are leaving for work’ and ‘I’m here. only eight hours’ and they will say things like that alert a predator that we have a child who is alone without parental supervision for much of the day, “Hadnagy said.
He says these predators are trying to find other ways to gain a child’s trust.
“Predators often send free phones, laptops, tablets and play devices to children because they know their parents might install a monitoring system on their phone. But if a predator sends a phone, it is not monitored and they have a secure means of communication. “said Hadnagy.