Unfortunately, kids and teens can be easily persuaded when they believe they could be talking to celebrities or someone otherwise known as having any kind of fame. Last year in the UK, 20 year-old sex predator David Harmes found various ways to entice and exploit young girls by playing the part of someone famous in order to harm them.
Harmes pretended to be different characters that would appeal to young girls as young as eight to eighteen years old. Some of his famous characters that he pretended to be in order to lure young girls in included fashion and beauty vlogger and YouTuber Zoella Sugg. Harmes also tricked his victims into thinking he was part of the boy band Bars and Melody from the popular television show, Britain's Got Talent.
According to police, Harmes also posed as a representative from modeling and dance agencies, contacting young girls across the UK through Skype. He would coerce young girls who thought they were being offered the opportunity to dance or model, to engage in sexual acts in order to distribute child pornography.
In order to combat predators, safety and security must be a parent’s number one priority when it comes to kids and the internet or social media. Knowing who kids are communicating with is critical to online safety.
Parental control apps are an excellent way to use technology to combat technology at the same time. They can help safeguard kids against suspicious contact. Research parental control apps and read reviews. Even if they’re not free, if it helps prevent online predators, it’s likely worth the price.