The Risks of Tweens Going Live
For Immediate Release
Winnipeg, MB: Today on Safer Internet Day the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) is urging families to talk with their tweens about the risks of live streaming after the organization’s Cybertip.ca saw a 57% increase1 in reports of adults contacting children ages 8 – 12 to engage in sexual activities over live stream.
The vast majority of apps, websites, and online gaming platforms now include a live stream component. This opens tweens up to risks ranging from seeing unmoderated content, to inappropriate live chat, to adults viewing their streams and/or contacting them through private messages in order to move children to a private stream.
In one Cybertip.ca case example, an 11-year-old was contacted by an adult offering to share pornography if the tween would engage in masturbation together over live stream. The offender also directed the tween to use a mobile device they could hide from their parents.
C3P has three tips for parents/guardians of tweens to help keep their kids safe online:
- Talk to your tween about the risks associated with live streaming. Screengrabs and video recordings from live streams can be used against tweens to embarrass or harm them.
- Help tweens set up privacy settings. With a private account, users can approve or deny followers, restrict who can view their content, and limit incoming messages to followers only. Work together to decide who to accept as followers.
- Many times tweens stream at night from bedrooms when parents are asleep or unware. Remove devices from tweens’ rooms before bed and consider disabling the Wi-Fi at night.
As always, C3P reminds parents/guardians there are no privacy settings or parental controls that can replace supervision and communication. It’s important to remind your tween they can always come to you for help without fear of getting in trouble, and reinforce it’s never too late to ask for help.
To learn more about the risks of live streaming, what parents can do to keep tweens safe, and age-appropriate points to talk about with tweens, visit protectkidsonline.ca/live
“Open communication with children is very important when it comes to online activities. Building a relationship of trust with tweens can help them realize that they can come to you to discuss any online incidents. On Safer Internet Day, the RCMP encourages parents and guardians to read about the risks tweens are facing while live streaming, and tips for keeping them safe online.” - RCMP Chief Superintendent Marie-Claude Arsenault, Director General, Sensitive and Specialized Investigative Services
”Parents may think their tween is not engaging in live streaming because they’re not old enough to know about these apps or websites. But through Cybertip.ca we’re seeing kids as young as 8 years old being targeted by adults through live stream. So it’s important for parents to have these online safety conversations at every age in order to keep kids safe.” – Signy Arnason, Associate Executive Director, C3P