The Impact of Technology-Facilitated Crimes on Students

For years, technology-facilitated crime has presented courts and legislators with the difficulty of maintaining the pace and rapidity of trends in online crime. Some of the more common forms of technology-facilitated crime that affect students today include child pornography and cyberbullying. But less-discussed crimes can also be identified through Gaggle’s content analysis and expert review.

Child Grooming

Grooming is an attempt to build an emotional connection with a student in order to exploit their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, trafficking or another similar heinous sex crime. Grooming occurred in person long before the rise of the Internet, predominantly by someone the student knew (such as a family member, family friend or a professional).

Online grooming has provided strangers with a medium for child exploitation. Grooming occurs through social media and chat applications. Many students are groomed at a young age, so that they don’t fully understand the significance of what is happening, even after the abuse has occurred.

Sextortion

Sextortion refers to a broad category of sexual exploitation in which sensitive or incriminating information is leveraged to coerce a victim into complying with further requests of a sexual nature. In other words, it’s a form of blackmail in which case sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors or money from the victim.

Although there are several methods by which criminals target their victims, in many cases, adults will misrepresent themselves as someone much younger in order to gain the trust of their victims. After acquiring nude photos or sensitive information, they reveal their malicious intent and threaten to expose the victim unless further demands are met.

Revenge Porn

Revenge porn consists in sharing sexually explicit material online of one or more individuals without consent. Sexual images shared as a means of revenge, due to a relationship that did not end amicably or even among former friends who had a falling out. It’s most often simply shared as a means of punishment without a demand put on the victim (if there is a demand put on the victim, then it becomes sexortion as well).

Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is a broader category than, and can overlap with, the previous three technology-facilitated crimes. It refers to the use of electronic communications to threaten, harass or stalk another individual. Cyberstalking can incorporate elements of cyberbullying, inasmuch as perpetrators might send harassing messages or create entire websites dedicated to humiliating or tormenting a victim.

Gaggle Safety Management uncovers thousands of situations like these for schools every year by analyzing and reviewing communications and files in G Suite for Education, Office 365 and the Canvas LMS. Contact us for a free Safety Audit to see what your students are doing in your school- and district-provided communication tools.