How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

It's important to address the issue of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from a standpoint of promoting safety and preventing harm. Here are some general safety tips to consider:

Education and Awareness. Educate yourself about CSAM, its dangers, and the legal implications surrounding it. Raise awareness in your community about the issue and the steps to combat it.

Online Safety Measures. Ensure that your devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets, have up-to-date security software and firewalls installed. Use strong and unique passwords for your accounts, including email and social media platforms. Regularly update your software and applications to protect against vulnerabilities. Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources.

Privacy Settings and Parental Controls. Familiarize yourself with privacy settings and use them to control who can access your personal information and content. Enable parental controls on devices used by children to restrict access to inappropriate content.

Safe Online Behavior. Teach children about safe online practices, such as not sharing personal information or images with strangers online. Encourage open communication with children, so they feel comfortable discussing any concerns or incidents they come across.

Reporting CSAM. You can report CSAM to the CyberTipline online or by calling 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation. To speak with a trained support specialist, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online. Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800.4.A.CHILD (422-4453).

Supporting Survivors. Show empathy and support for survivors of CSAM. Healing takes time, and it’s crucial that survivors have the ongoing support and love they deserve throughout this process. Every survivor’s healing journey is a unique and ongoing process, so continued care will look different for every person.

Remember, the issue of CSAM is a serious one, and it requires collective effort to combat it effectively. By staying informed, promoting awareness, and taking necessary precautions, we can contribute to a safer online environment for everyone, especially children.

Additional resources and information

  • RAINN commissioned a survey from YouGov to determine parental/caregiver awareness of online dangers for children and young adults. The survey also explored parent/caregiver expectations of personal and institutional responsibility for protecting children from being exploited or exposed to child sexual abuse material. Findings can be found here.
  • 5 Red Flags and 5 Tips to Protect Your Child Online. Learn about the 5 red flags on child sexual abuse material and examples of how predators often operate in order to abuse children. Learn about the 5 tips for parents/caregivers on preventing child sexual abuse material.
  • Lean On Me: A caregiver’s guide to safeguarding children and supporting healing from sexual abuse in English.
  • Apóyate en mí. A caregiver’s guide to safeguarding children and supporting healing from sexual abuse in Spanish.

RAINN offers free, confidential support and information through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is available through online chat or phone: 800.656.HOPE (4673).

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