The very real danger of online grooming

Wed, 26/11/2014 - 07:29

19 year old Lewis Daynes has admitted guilty to the murder of 14 year old Breck Bedner in what the prosecution claim to be a “sadistic and sexually motivated attack”.

The pair met online where Daynes groomed Breck in an online forum he ran over discussions of their love video games. On the night he was murdered, Breck told his parents he would be at a sleepover around the corner from their home in Surrey yet was found at a flat in Essex, over 30 miles away.

Shortly after his death, Breck’s parents established the Breck Bednar Memorial Foundation to educate young people about the dangers of the Internet, which is essential in today’s digital world. There are many technologies available to block and restrict access to content deemed inappropriate, however whilst this does to some extent reduce access to dangers, it also eliminates opportunities for learning about how to stay safe online and other safeguarding issues.

Breck’s parents had been worried about their son and made a call to Surrey and Essex police in December 2013, warning officers that they believed their son was being groomed online. However, the police failed to act appropriately upon this information and are now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Redstor Safeguarding, in partnership with Securus Software, adopts a different approach to blocking technologies. It works by detecting inappropriate content in the form of text or images, that appears on the screen of a device, whether online or offline. When inappropriate content is detected, a screenshot is taken and the appropriate person notified so that action can be taken. The person using the device can also be notified when inappropriate content is detected, prompting them to change their behaviour. A technology like this being installed on Breck's computer would have provided Breck’s parents with evidence of grooming, which the police would have been unable to ignore.

Redstor Safeguarding detects issues such as:

• Online grooming and sexual abuse

• Bullying

• Racial, homophobic and religious harassment

• Indicators of distress

• Inappropriate language

• Explicit images

The software identifies potential child protection issues, empowering those in a duty of care to provide an immediate informed response on issues which may otherwise go undetected.

Redstor provide a range of cloud services, including safeguarding, designed with data protection and security at the forefront. Our range of secure and encrypted cloud services are already protecting the data of over 10,000 organisations across the UK. Redstor’s Online Backup for Schools service ensures data is safely backed up offsite in an encrypted format. Our cloud sync and share service, Centrastor, enables organisations to store and share files securely online from any device with an Internet connection and our CentraStage service enables support providers to guarantee that devices they support are regularly audited, patched and safely up-to-date for effective endpoint management. Our Virtual Disaster Recovery service guarantees to have your systems up and running within minutes following a disaster.

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