A paedophile used internet chat rooms to hack into the computers of schoolgirls and terrorise them into sending intimate pictures of themselves, a court heard yesterday.
| Adrian Ringland targeted girls on both sides of the Atlantic|
Adrian Ringland, 36, used a sophisticated virus to take control of victims’ computers.
He would then threaten to crash their systems unless they did what he ordered.
He backed up his threats by moving their cursor around, switching on and off their monitors and opening and closing the disc drive. Once his victims had e-mailed him a revealing picture, he blackmailed them into sending more by threatening to forward it to everyone in their e-mail address book.
Ringland, an unemployed father of two who targeted girls on both sides of the Atlantic, was eventually caught after a Canadian teenager reported him to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
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This example of threatening and manipulative behaviour is unfourtunately not an isolated incident. Many young people have experienced similar online behaviour and are being forced of threatened into doing things they are not comfortable doing.
How can we protect our children when they are online? Should we leave it up to a sophisticated behaviour management system that monitors any online conversations and reports inappropriate activity? Should we educate young people to empower them when making decisions? Should we prevent young people from using the Internet when not supervised by an adult? Or should we dop all of these things? Please leave a comment with your thoughts.