Cyber predators come in many different forms but what they all have in common is committing unethical, illegal, and self-serving acts that usually escalate in frequency and severity over time. Three examples of cyber predators are cyberbullies, hackers, and criminals.
Cyberbullies can be an individual or a group of people that prey on others to humiliate, embarrass, and insult them for their own gain (ego, money, or status). Most cyberbullies do not consider themselves bullies and blame their victims for somehow “deserving it.”
Hackers are individuals and groups using phishing, viruses, trojans, and catfishing (fraudulently stating they are someone else) to steal money and information; they even kidnap for fun, profit, and control. Hackers enjoy “feeling smarter” than the programmers or people they fool.
Watch the video below, and ask yourself:
- How could these individuals harm you or others?
Video | 2:28
Criminals are individuals, small crime rings, and multi-national organizations who engage in identity theft, blackmail, sextortion, and human trafficking; profit is their motivation. Criminals, often gang members, realize that human trafficking is more profitable than drugs which can only be sold once. Human trafficking is local, world-wide, and is modern-day slavery. It includes:
- Forced labor
- Forced sex work (sex trafficking)
- Stealing and selling babies and children
- Forced marriage
- Body organ theft
In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General reports there are 79,000 victims of youth and minor sex trafficking at any given time.1 Social media is often used as a hunting ground for traffickers in America as the following video demonstrates.
Watch the video below and ask yourself:
- What happened that started the whole situation?
- What would you do, think, or feel if this happened to you?
- What would you do, think, or feel if this happened to your best friend, sister, or mother?
Video | 5:02
1Attorney General of Texas; Human Trafficking - https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/human-trafficking