Cyber predators come in many different forms, what they all have in common is committing unethical, illegal, self-serving acts that usually escalate in frequency and severity over time. Here are some examples:
Cyberbullies - Individuals or groups (often found in schools) that prey on individuals to humiliate, embarrass, and insult others for their own gain (ego, money, status). MOST cyberbullies do not consider themselves bullies. They blame their victims for somehow “deserving it.”
Hackers - Individuals and groups use phishing, viruses, trojans, and catfishing to steal money and information, and 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 - Individuals, small crime rings, and multi-national organizations engage in identity theft, blackmail, sextortion, human trafficking, etc. Profit is the motivation. Criminals, often gang members, realized that human trafficking (forced prostitution) is more profitable than drugs which can only be sold once. Human trafficking occurs all over the world. It is 21st-century slavery and can include:
- Forced Labor
- Forced Bagging
- Selling/Stealing Babies/Children
- Forced Marriage
- Body Organ Theft
However, in the United States, forced prostitution is by far the most common form of human trafficking. Of confirmed cases in the United States, 83% are American born citizens. Texas is 2nd only to California in human trafficking cases. Social media is now used as the primary hunting ground for traffickers in America.
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?
Video | 5:02
Companies - Software, phone manufacturers, social media, etc. minimize controls and buy/sell information and data for profit. (Obviously not all companies do this, but a majority do. There are no laws against it.)
People ASSUME that safeguards are built into the internet, but they are not. Wonder why the geniuses who created the internet didn’t make it safer for users? (See the article below.)
We are all born with natural human biases that make us think we are smarter, luckier, and more immune to bad things than we really are. Cyber predators know how to manipulate people with social engineering. They count on adults being under-educated on internet dangers, kids being overconfident, and companies not wanting people to be aware of their exposure because it would negatively impact consumer confidence and profits.