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Pedophiles will do whatever it takes to groom children online

Experts have warned of the shocking tactics sex predators employ in order to lure unsuspecting child victims, including infiltrating popular mobile apps.

The growing use of smartphones among young people is putting them at risk of contact with pedophiles, as well as a bombardment of explicit content.

Cyber safety expert Ross Bark said kids aren’t equipped with the knowledge and maturity to navigate the dangers of the online world.

“People are waiting there (on mobile apps) literally to pounce on these young children,” Bark told “A Current Affair,” a news show in Australia.

In a special report, the Channel Nine show looked at various chat, social networking and gaming apps popular among young users. Among those probed were Kik, Snapchat and Musical.ly.

Experimenting with the apps while posing as a young teenage girl, the program found an array of R-rated material, requests for explicit video chat and even attempts at grooming.

Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett is commander of the New South Wales police Sex Crimes Squad, which has made 100 arrests for online grooming so far this year alone.

“Sex offenders will go on particular sites that are aimed at children, for the purpose of meeting the child and having sex,” she warned.

Of particular concern is opt-out privacy settings and inadequate protections on mobile phones.

Sonya Ryan’s daughter Carly was just 15 when she was murdered by a person she thought was a boy named Brandon.

“Time stopped and my entire life just fell to pieces,” she said.

The two had been chatting online for 18 months and became close. When Sonya became suspicious, she banned Carly from talking to him anymore.

“But it was too late. He had his hooks in her.”

Garry Newman, a 50-year-old pedophile, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2007 murder of Carly.

When police raided his home to arrest him just 11 days after he killed Carly, Newman was on his computer posing as Brandon and talking to another teenage girl.

The lengths he went to in order to dupe his victims was shocking, Sonya said.

“There was a looped vision of a boy typing, so when I looked over Carly’s shoulder, that’s what I’d see.”

He had multiple fake profiles that he had carefully constructed, as well as several mobile phone numbers.

Howlett said stranger danger has moved off the streets and into potential victims’ pockets on their phones.

She warned parents to be hyper-vigilant, but also to check privacy settings to ensure they are as robust as possible.

Bark echoed the advice, saying even apps that require users to add those they want to communicate with aren’t completely private.

“If it’s not set up properly, anyone anywhere in the world can see your posts,” he said.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/09/04/pedophiles-will-do-whatever-it-takes-to-groom-children-online/

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