Grooming is another extremely serious Internet threat that is causing great concern. This type of threat is aimed mainly at young people. Typically, an older person will use the Internet and its services to communicate with younger people. The groomer will not give accurate information about themselves and in many cases will pretend to be a younger person.
Once the groomer has made on-line contact with their victim they will spend time becoming their friend and trying to get as much personal information as they can. This process could go on for weeks or even months. The eventual aim of the groomer is to arrange to meet the victim in person in order to carry out some type of illegal activity, usually of a sexual nature.
Social networking sites such as Bebo allow a great deal of personal information to be published easily and to a worldwide audience. Users of such sites do of course have control over what they publish and who gets to see such information.
Many social networking sites gather information on the categories below which can be published as a snapshot on the first page of a user's profile. A great way of quckly attracting friends who can see like-minded individuals who they could become friends with? Or an invitation to attract individuals who could prove to be a danger to you?