Children must continually be reminded to not accept friend requests from people they have never met face-to-face. Many child sex offenders create fake online profiles to gain the friendship of children to possibly abuse. They use photos of children of the approximate age they are sexually attracted to and use clues found in the targeted child’s profile to convince the child that they are in the same peer group. Additionally, children should not post photos, texts, check-ins, or page-likes that identify what school they attend, where they live, or where they frequently hang out. These details help child sex offenders make in-person contact with the child possible.
For guidance on how to teach children to protect themselves online from sexual abuse, read the #Netsmart handbook by Save the Children Sweden. This handbook is available in English and Swedish.