The Dangers of Webcams- Who is Watching your child?

Research has shown that one in five 10-17 year olds are sexually solicited online. It amazes me how many parents allow their children to have computers connected to the internet in their bedroom, worse yet webcams. WebCams can be very dangerous to children. In 2006, a British children’s internet charity advised parents to ban young people from using webcams in their bedrooms.

According to the news article published by BBC News, advice was issued after news reported that 100 of girls may be among the victims of a 23 year old man facing pornography charges in Canada.

According to police Mark Bedford, who used the online alias Supalover666, ratemybody and Marco1812000 threatened girls with rape, bodily harm and even death if they failed to co-operate and perform sex acts on their webcams. Mark had a fake profile on Xanga where he posted fake photos and pretended to be a 15 year old girl interested in singing, dancing, computer, and her boyfriend. Mark Bedford pleated guilty to 10 extortion and child pornography-related charges and was sentenced to three years in a federal penitentiary.

Justin Berry was a typical 13-year-old child when he begun his five-year cycle in which he was molested and begun performing sex acts in front of his webcam. In a 2006 news report, Justin tells his story of how he was lured into child porn. (Justin Berry Warns Problem Extends Beyond a Few Isolated Cases.)

In 2007, Alycia Lane of cbs3.com filed a special report on the potential dangers of webcams. Videos of young girls being provocative shared on video-sharing sites have become a disturbing practice among teen girls.

Children and teenagers who think having a webcam is cool are not aware of the dangers. It is up to us as parents to educate them and keep them safe.

An important question to ask yourself is would you let a stranger into your child’s bedroom?

Please, carefully consider the dangers of allowing your children to have unsupervised access to web cams. Be smart and protect your children.

Please spread the word regarding the danger of webcams by stumbling or linking to this article.

Further Reading:

Danger of webcams for children

An easy path to trouble

National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) – Fact Sheets – Webcams

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