Internet Child Sex Offenders' Concerns about Online Security and their Use of Identity Protection Technologies: A Review

Myles Balfe, Bernard Gallagher, Helen Masson, Shane Balfe, Ruairi Brugha, Simon Hackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this article is to review what is known about the technologies that internet child sex offenders use to abuse or exploit children, offenders' attitudes towards online security and surveillance risk, and their use of identity protection tactics and technologies. The peer-reviewed literature on internet sex offenders published between 2000 and 2011 was surveyed. Internet child sex offenders use a mixture of new and old technologies to abuse children. Offenders' awareness of internet-related risk appears to exist along a continuum. A number of psychological and demographic factors may influence offenders' perceptions of online security risk and their willingness to take security precautions. A surprisingly large number of apprehended offenders in the time period examined by this review did not seem to use any technologies to disguise their identities. A major research programme into internet offenders' use of identity protection technologies, and their use of technologies in general, is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-439
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


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