Internet Safety & cyber security is vital to all online users and below is a list of factors sought by iPredators searching for their next target. Just as classic criminals can "case" a home or choose the most vulnerable child to abduct, the iPredator is able to do the same using information they compile from a variety of online sources and contacts. Based on the typology of iPredator, the areas they investigate in their strategy of targeting a victim is listed below for the reader.
The definition and motivations of iPredator is as follows:
iPredator: A child, adult or group who engages in the exploitation, victimization, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age, either gender and not bound by economic status, race or national heritage.
iPredator is a global term used to distinguish all online users who engage in criminal, deviant or abusive behaviors using Information and Communications Technology. Whether the offender is a cyber bully, cyber stalker, cyber criminal, online sexual predator, Internet troll or cyber terrorist, they fall within the scope of iPredator. There are three criteria used to define an iPredator including:
I. A self-awareness of causing harm using Information and Communications Technology. II. The intermittent to frequent usage of Information and Communications Technology to obtain, exchange and deliver harmful information. III. A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.
When an offender profile includes these three characteristics, they meet the definition of iPredator. A fourth criterion, not included in the triad defining an iPredator, is what I have termed iPredator Victim Intuition (IVI) and reserved for seasoned iPredators. IVI is the aptitude to sense a target's online vulnerabilities, weaknesses and technological limitations increasing their success with minimal ramifications. iPredators, through practice and learning, develop a sense and/or skill of being able to experience an intuition to know what online user will be a successful target.
In addition to having IVI, the iPredator practices Cyberstealth using multiple covert strategies. In fact, the third criteria used to define an iPredator include a general understanding of Cyberstealth used to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target. Also lying upon a continuum of expertise, iPredators are assessed as being advanced in their Cyberstealth practices as opposed to a haphazard approach of targeting a victim without attempting to hide their identity. Often times, cyber bullies, ex-partners, ex-employees, angry or self-righteous online users, Internet trolls, organized groups with political, religious and moralistic causes, child molesters, pedophiles and highly narcissistic online users do not attempt to hide their identities. Cyberstealth is a strategy reserved for iPredators who seek to hide their identities online.
Cyberstealth, a concept formulated along with iPredator, is a term used to define a method and/or strategies by which iPredators devise tactics to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they troll and stalk an online target. In addition to a stratagem, Cyberstealth is a reality of Information and Communications Technology, that humanity often fails to fathom leading some online users to become high probability targets. Cyberstealth is a learned behavior that becomes more advanced with practice, trial and error and experimentation. Methods iPredators use in their Cyberstealth strategies are as follows:
1. The amount of personal information a potential target post or shares online.
2. The frequency a potential target post or shares their contact information online.
3. The content of the information a potential target post or shares online.
4. The lack of Internet safety measures a potential target institutes online.
5. The potential targets willingness to discuss sensitive issues including sexual topics, financial information, their physical location, parental or adult monitoring of their online activities, experiences of distress at home, work, school and interpersonal or intrapersonal issues.
6. The amount of time the potential target spends online.
7. The type of information a potential target post or shares on their social networking profiles (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, MyYearbook, LinkedIn.)
8. The potential target's offline demeanor leading the iPredator to conclude the online user will be an easy target.
9. The non-response or lack of assertive confrontation by a potential target to respond to negative information.
10. The potential target's probability of not having social system support, legal/law enforcement support or knowledge of intervention strategies if cyber attacked.
11. The quantity and themes of images and/or videos an online user posts or shares online.
12. The pattern of "likes" and "dislikes" an online user posts or shares on their social networking site profiles.
13. The frequency a potential target changes their profile images and information on their social networking profiles.
14. Images and/or videos showing the potential target's economic status, layout of their residence or their material objects they or their loved ones own.
15. Images, videos and posts of the potential target’s choice of lifestyle and/or material objects.
16. Images, videos and posts of the potential target’s lifestyle.
17. Images, videos and posts of the potential target’s needs, wants and desires.
18. Images, videos and posts suggesting the potential target is suffering from psychological and/or psychosocial dysfunction.