According to a study by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the University of Birmingham, online predators are not only targeting children online, but victimizing them in the virtual realm as well. Though predators attempting to arrange an offline meeting with their victims is a declining trend—down from 12% of cases in 2011 to just 7% in 2012—new dangers threaten the safety of UK’s children.
The study, reported by BBC News, revealed that pedophiles contacted children on their Smartphones about a third of the time, noting that most 12 to 15 year olds use mobile phones that are unprotected by parental controls. CEOP said that some predators trick victims into thinking they are a familiar friend in an effort to obtain their social media passwords. They then blackmail children to engage in sexual activity via web cam.