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Keeping Kids Safe Online

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2022 12:00 pm

Keeping Kids Safe Online

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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August 27, 2022 12:00 pm

 

Robby is joined again by Glen Pounder with Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), as well as Ren, to discuss tips for parents and caregivers for keeping their children safe and having important conversations about their online activity.

A warning: this program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at 1-888-373-7888.

 

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Previously on Lantern Rescue... Eventually, when you begin to understand the level of criminality, it's actually quite a scary dark place to look into, but it's something that a light needs shining onto, because I mentioned earlier the drugs trade or any other criminality you can think of pretty much is based on one thing and that is to make money. Whereas for child sexual abuse, don't get me wrong, sometimes it is involved in making money. For some of these guys, it's not about making money at all. The money, the currency that they trade on, is the images and videos of children being sexually assaulted.

So the currency is the children and the trade in this horrific material sometimes doesn't even involve a monetary transaction. Welcome to Lantern Rescue, a ministry program dedicated to bringing light into the darkness of human trafficking. It's time to light the way to freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories, we talk about rescues, and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. So welcome back to Lantern Rescue, and today we are so blessed to have with us again Glenn Pounder with the Child Rescue Coalition, as well as our good friend Ren. And Ren, it's good to have you in on this conversation.

Hey, it's great to be here. And so Glenn, today we wanted to go kind of into what tips, you know, parents and family members, uncles, aunts, cousins, whatever the case may be, that you have a unique insight into the things that they could be made aware of and that would be helpful for them, right? Yeah, for sure.

I'd like to get into that in a little bit of detail. Again, not to scare people, but just so that they appreciate what these criminals are doing online with regards to targeting children and what parents and caregivers can do proactively to learn more about it and to have the right conversations with the kids. Wow. Yeah, yeah, that would be extremely helpful, even for grandparents and stuff like that.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so on Friday I got to attend this active shooter demonstration and conference at a local school district near me. And I had a lantern rescue booth all set up and was talking to people about what we do and explaining human trafficking, what it looks like domestically and a little bit of what it looks like internationally. And the most common question I got by parents was they'd come up to my booth and they'd have their kids with them and they would ask me to scare their kids because they think their kids are going to get snatched when they're getting off the bus going to school or they're walking home from school, they're going to get snatched by the stranger and I need to scare them for them. And I had to have some very stern conversations with parents about, you know, hey, that's actually not the monster we're fighting anymore. That is not that it never happens that a stranger smashes your kids, but it is significantly more likely that the monster you're fighting is inside the cell phone when your kid's sitting alone in their bedroom doing who knows what and talking to who knows who on the cell phone. And I was trying to explain that to him and it was really a moment of realization for a lot of parents. And I think that it's definitely an issue that needs to be addressed and not it's not the monster that we traditionally fight, you know, it's people really expect it to be the stranger down the street and the white van and that's what never happens, but the vast majority of this crime is occurring and beginning on cell phones and electronic devices. So Glenn, you see that with the technology that you're worked with amazingly, right? Yeah, we do absolutely and I think Ren makes a great point there. The thing is for the parents, for caregivers, for grandparents, it can all seem a little bit scary and overwhelming, right? There's so much information out there and so there are ways that people can kind of arm themselves and also arm their children to be safer online. And we'll get into a fair little bit of detail here, Robbie, if that's good with you today, yeah?

Yeah, please. Absolutely. I think the first thing to say is more often than not, we do already have an expert in the house and who is that expert? Well, the expert really is the child, right?

Because the children are experimenting online in ways that were impossible only 20 years ago. So I think one of the major things here is to just have open conversations with kids around what kind of apps they're using, what kind of games they're playing. Like kids love to explain what they're doing, right? As long as it is a very open conversation, right?

And as you know, I'm from a law enforcement background, so it can't be an interrogation of your kids, right? It has to be a very open, hey, like what does that game do? You know, how do you play it?

Who do you play the game with? Who do you talk to? But very gentle, open question. And even if you're not going to get the answer that day, it might be a day or two later that your child would come back to you and explain something about what happened. As long as they realize that you're not trying to bag them into a corner, right? Because none of us would be backed into a corner with, what are you doing online, right?

There has to be really a gentle conversation with that expert in your house, right? Which is the child. Well, you bring up a wonderful point that I really had never even considered, I guess, just being the ignorant person. But what you're saying is that these games, like children, they love to play these games, that through those games, they connect with people that are playing the game, that might be predators? Yeah. And the reality, Robbie, is that anywhere there are children online, anywhere, they'll always be predators. So that's the starting point that people really need to know on any online game that allows access for children.

That's also where the predators go. That's the reality. Okay.

Right. And then when you were having a conversation with a child and you talk about, well, you're talking to strangers online, the child might have played that game online for weeks or even months. They don't see the people they're playing with as strangers, right? They're forming connections online in the same way that we used to form connections as kids in the street or playing soccer in the park. So they're forming connections online and they don't see the people that they're interacting with online as strangers over time, right? They're building a relationship they feel online. And so they don't think when you say, are you talking to a stranger online?

The child is not seeing the person online as a stranger. They think they're friends, right? Because they're playing a game with them. Right.

Right. And, you know, the grooming process for some of these determined criminal pedophiles can happen in money, but sometimes it takes, again, weeks or months. They build up trust with the child, they establish those connections, and they gain the trust of the child, right? And that's where this gets into the very dangerous part where the criminal will try and get more personal information about the child, their cell phone number, and then generally they'll try and move them then into a private kind of one-to-one conversation on WhatsApp or something similar, right?

But, sorry, go ahead, Robbie. Oh, I was just saying, and actually lead them into other apps that could be more harmful. Exactly that. And some will come on to what that looks like and how that works.

Here's another very quick way, right? In terms of nobody needs to learn the top 10 most dangerous apps or the top 15, because the reality is there are thousands. There are thousands.

So it's impossible to learn them all. But the key thing here is to know that there are resources out there, pages like Child Rescue Coalition, the National Center for Missing Exploited Children, there's a ton of great free information out there. But most of us use a search engine like Google, right? So if you have any particular app that your child is on, if you put the name of the app into Google with the word pedophile and the word arrest, and then hit return, well, that should tell you most of what you need to know about that app.

Wow. Unfortunately, Robbie, you'll probably find out there's been tens if not hundreds of arrests connected with that app and criminal pedophiles online. So that's one of the first things that people can do to say, well, is this app dangerous or not?

Throw the name of the app into Google with pedophile and arrest. And you'll probably get a lot of information with regards to that app. Is that making sense? Oh, perfect sense. Wow.

Yes. So what are the other things with regards to the app? There are different ways that apps can be harmful to kids, right? One of the first things to realize about these apps is they are never ever designed with safety in mind, right? That's not what these apps are designed for.

They're designed to make money or they're designed to collect our data. So they're never designed with safety in mind ever. And I think as we touched on before, there's no law which requires them to be safe for kids right now. So people need to know that.

Yeah, absolutely. The second thing is that age is just a number for these apps, right? There's no age, there's no effective age restrictions, right? Often you can just change the age that you say you are in the app. That means that young kids can get access to apps that are not appropriate for young kids, like point one. Point two, a 35 year old dangerous predator can be on an app and pretend to be a 14 year old girl, right?

That's pretty instant. And so that leads into some of the other problems with regards to sextortions and that's particularly prevalent right now with girls too, but also with boys being the target, right? Yeah, absolutely.

So Rin, have you got, you know, your view on some of these things we just discussed, which is tremendous information, don't you think? Yeah, it's really, you know, going really an expert in this field and it's really, it's so hard for parents. I think what's one of the biggest struggles is parents accepting that monster that they didn't have to accept before.

You know, we talked a lot about being on the streets and that's how we used to make friends and, you know, my head's off to him because he called it soccer and not football. But, you know, I wish it was still 1998 and I really mean that with like every ounce of my soul, but the truth is that it's just not. The world's moving forward and it's taking us and our kids with it, so you can either choose for a death and involve with them and help handle these situations and be more aware as a parent and more educated as a parent and help them handle these situations that you never had to encounter before. You know, it's so hard to accept this monster that is so new and it's so scary and you can handle these situations with grace or you can naively prepare them for a world that just doesn't exist anymore. You have to, you know, what Glenn's talking about, you have to evolve, you have to evolve, you have to become educated. These apps are not designed with safety in mind. They're made for profit, so it's really a sad thing to say, but, you know, this is the reality now. Wow, wow.

All right, Glenn, what's next? Yeah, I've got more unfortunately, yeah. So, again, in terms of the apps and the conversation with kids about strangers, well, some of the things you can very easily ask your child is, okay, well, if this is something that you play with online, do you know their real name? A lot of these apps don't require anything in terms of verification, either an email address or a phone number. So, if the child can't tell you the person's real name, they can't tell you the phone number of the person they're playing with online. And you can have a look at the app yourself and see what information you need to put in there. Again, criminal predators, they love these apps that don't require any identifiable information, right?

Because that's where they seek to go online and they use these apps as the online equivalent of a phishing caller to go and collect as many kids as they can to start that grooming process. Wow. So, unfortunately, we were at the point where we got to take a break. So, you can see this episode is loaded with usable information for all of us to protect, you know, ourselves, our kids. And certainly, you'd want to share this episode with all the people you can possibly think of. You know, this is a podcast. If you're listening to the broadcast, it's podcasted, you know, lanternrescue.org.

You can get all the episodes there. But again, this would be one I would highly recommend. I can assure you, I'm sending it to my kids. And I hope that you will do the same. We'll be right back with a whole lot more details on how, you know, discussions we can have with our children, you know, with our loved ones about this particular situation in our homes.

We'll be right back. Lantern Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former U.S. special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems, such as genocide, terrorism, and human trafficking.

As a nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated $150 billion in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services. They're gearing up for operations right now, and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. The following program contains sensitive content.

Listener discretion is advised. Welcome back to Lantern Rescue and today's, wow, powerful conversation with Wren and Glenn Pounder with Child Rescue Coalition. Again, we want to mention that that's a great resource.

Child Rescue Coalition's website has got, and again, it's just under Child Rescue Coalition. You can find all that information, but I know a lot of people are like me that you're just thinking, well, I know the solution. We just need to take these cell phones away from our kids, but that isn't really the answer, is it Wren? No, it's just not realistic. Short of joining the Amish community and really committing to a new technology lifestyle, it's not realistic. I had friends in high school that was a minute ago. Their parents took away their cell phone, they didn't want them to have a cell phone, and they went out and got anyone to hit it under their bed.

I think you have one friend in particular and hope she listens to this. So it's just not realistic. It's 2022, like I just said.

I wish it was 1998 and we were all thinking out our Lisa Frank folders go back to school with, but it's not. It's not realistic, and it's not going to solve the problem. I get that it's scary, and the best way parents know how to react to scary stuff is to shield them from it. And sometimes that shield feels like a complete shield of removing what you believe is a threat, but all you're doing is setting them up for being exploited online later when they get their own phone, because they're going to get one. They will not spend the rest of their life without a digital device.

They won't. So you can either address it now together and help to learn how you can protect them, how you can learn this together and fight it together, or you can pretend that it doesn't exist, live in a naive bubble, and in a couple years when they get their own phone, now they're being exploited because they never learned how to handle it properly. Right, and there's the whole point that I know that when my parents had faith in me, I had faith in them.

You know, if you got right faith in me, then I got faith to tell you this. These are things that are looking weird on my phone, but if you're making me afraid to even tell you I got a phone, you know, then that creates that particular. So what you were talking about, Glenn, as far as the importance of these conversations of being open and not, you know, not an interrogation, all has to do with that trust between the parents and the spouse. So these speeches are really critical, aren't they?

They really are, and I'd agree with Glenn. You know, these devices are so smart these days. They obviously also give us the geolocation, the actual location of the child, so they can be used for safety, right? So, you know, I don't think it's practical to say, I'm taking your phone off you. Maybe it's practical to say, but you know what, come 10 o'clock at night, we all put our phones in one location in the house for charging. Because again, then at night, well, the child really doesn't need to have the phone in the bedroom, you could argue, right? Certainly at a certain age, a 10 or 11 year old, I would say absolutely 10 o'clock. It's lights out and the phone stays in the parent's bedroom or is charged somewhere else away from the child is what I would say, but everyone makes their own kind of minds up working with their own children, if that makes sense, yeah?

Yes, I agree. But I will say, you know, we, if you can imagine leaving your front door open and an ever ending line of strangers walking into your house, up the stairs and into your child's bedroom, well, really, that's, that's what these apps do, right? They create a tunnel directly into your child's bedroom and you wouldn't dream of leaving your door open. But that's really what we're doing these days with regards to these apps. And so, you know, I think that's important to know and I think it's important to understand things like the features where we would say something like, now you see it, now you don't, which is messages or photos that are designed to have a self-destruct feature. The kids using things like Snapchat believe that the picture or video is being deleted.

Well, again, for criminal predators, that's the perfect app, right? Because that's how that's how they capture that material. And then they go into this thing, what we call extortion. They're like, well, now I've captured this material. I know who you are.

I know where you live. And if you don't give me more material, more, more child abuse material, well, then I'm going to share this with your parents, with your school. And that for children is the most horrific and scary thing.

So again, this really comes back to that open communication Robbie. Children need to know that they're never going to be in trouble in that circumstance, right? And us as adults and parents, even though we're scared, we need to be the adult in that scenario. And we need to say, you know what, we've got this, we've got the support you're going to get. And you need to know that you can call law enforcement.

The child will never be the one in trouble. And, you know, it's always going to be the criminal that law enforcement will be interested in. Yeah, that's that is an important thing to understand. Absolutely.

And so, Robbie, for me, there was just a couple of other things that I wanted to cover on this. And that was really the nature of children's experimentation being age appropriate, right? So, you know, what's right for a 10 or 11 year old is different from 14 or 15 year old, right? Much as it was when we were that age. Yeah. So I think, again, parents need to just be mindful of the age of their child and what's appropriate to that age group.

And so how would you kind of describe that practically? Well, again, I think it's all about what freedom the child is allowed to have, depending on their age. So, again, we know that, you know, 15, 16 year olds are going to have girlfriends or boyfriends.

That's a whole different scenario in terms of the child's privacy, as opposed to a 10 or 11 year old. So I just think, you know, we need to be mindful of as our kids get older. Again, much like we do with the car. Eventually, they're going to drive the car on their own. And I think you just need to think along those same same lines with regards to their online work life, if you like. Right.

That's a beautiful example. Because, you know, when they're driving the car for the first two years, you're always with them during that, you know, so that they can learn how to get out of situations and, you know, basically become a better driver. Well, the same thing with online. If you know, you could start as young as, you know, six or seven or eight or nine, I would suppose to walk them through what's the safe way to work on that phone online. Right.

Exactly that. And we have someone similar to a digital contract. The parents kind of walk through with kids, hey, you know, parents are spending, I mean, you know, a thousand books on these on these handsets, which are amazing computers in your hands. But, you know, you can sit down with a child and say, right, you know, it's an exciting time. Here's the phone, but this is the digital contract.

These are the kind of safety things that we are agreeing to, as your parents, as we as we handle this phone, again, which, which in the same way we would when driving a car. And so that digital contract is there at your website, Child Rescue Coalition? Yep. Yep. You'll find it right there.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 01:41:09 / 2023-03-05 01:50:43 / 10

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