August 13, 2020

ALERT: COVID Increasing Online Sexual Exploitation of Children

For many, school is either back in session or just around the corner. Whether your children will be attending in person or virtually, they will be spending a significant amount time on digital devices for learning, socialization and entertainment.

Reports of online sexual exploitation of children and other dangers have soared during the COVID-19 pandemic as predators, traffickers and pornographers are keenly aware of kids' increased time spent online. The impact is seen worldwide: 

Child Sexual Exploitation

"At the outset of the pandemic, [Sgt. Guerin] said his unit saw offenders on livestreaming sites, social media and on the dark web looking for children to chat with online, or to meet in person so that they could sexually assault them." --, July 13, 2020

  • In March, Alberta's Law Enforcement Response Team (ICE unit) said it received an exceptionally larger amount of child exploitation reports in Alberta. (Source:, April 21, 2020)
  • In April of 2019, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Childrenreceived roughly 1 million reports. In April 2020, it saw more than 4.1 million come in via its CyberTipline, a four-fold increase. (, May 25, 2020).
  • "Europol has called the increased online activity by 'those seeking child sexual abuse material' the 'most worrying' aspect of the coronavirus pandemic's effect on crime in Europe." (Source: EU Observer, May 19, 2020) 

Sex Trafficking

On March 16, the FBI issued a warning to the public to remain vigilant criminals who seek to traffic individuals through force, fraud, or coercion through popular social media and dating platforms. In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote: "the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have magnified the need for all stakeholders to work together in the fight more than ever.”

Cyberbullying, Sexting

"I was home, and I was bored, and I was lonely, and I was online much like children are now." . . . "[Kids] are really vulnerable to online dangers like cyberbullying and online predators and sexual exploitation. I know we are so overwhelmed right now, but this is an area that can't be ignored."

-- Alicia Kozakiewicz, abduction survivor/, April 8, 2020

  • Children are spending more time on devices during the pandemic which may put them at a higher risk for cyberbullying. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reported adolescents aged 13-17 were participating on a social media platform daily or more frequently. Of those surveyed, 20% said they had been the victims of cyber bullying. (Source: ABC 27 News, Aug 4, 2020)
  • A phone safety app revealed the number of sexts children in the UK attempted to send had risen 183% during the lockdown, with a 55% rise in sexts drafted during normal school hours. (Source:, June 24, 2020). 

Parents are the first line of Defense and Enough Is Enough® is here to help you safeguard your child's internet-enabled devices and offer the resources and tools you need. Please visit, your one-stop shop for internet safety needs. Also, check out our Safety & Prevention section for detailed information on securing internet-enabled devices. Finally, click on the guide below to get you started on your way!


Much like protective measures needed to help tackle the spread of COVID, putting preventative measures in place can help combat the pandemic of child sexual exploitation and protect your children from other internet-related threats.

Wishing you all a safe and healthy return to the school year.

Enough Is Enough®
Your Internet Safety Experts

P.S. -- Friends, COVID has also negatively impacted our donations. Will you financially support EIE with a gift of any size? Also, please share this e-mail on social media and forward to your friends! Thanks so much, Donna Rice Hughes

Important Steps You Can Take RIGHT NOW 

"5 Proactive Steps to Mitigate Online Harms to Your Children During COVID-19" provides steps that should be taken on all internet-enabled devices to help you keep your child safer in the digital world.

Steps are linked to associated content for additional support.