Figures released today (April 18, 2018) by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the charity that searches for and removes online child sexual abuse imagery, show that more of this disturbing material is being found than ever before.

The data is published in the IWF’s Annual Report, which provides a yearly global measure of the number of online images and videos of children being sexually abused to government, the police and the internet industry. The eagerly awaited report also contains trends in how services are being abused by offenders to host this illegal material.

Key figures and trends include:

  • Confirmed child sexual abuse URLs (2017) 78,589. This is up by 37% from 57,335 in 2016.
  • Severity up. Category A content, which includes the rape and sexual torture of children, is up by 5%, from 28% of all content to 33%.
  • Disguised website abuse in unprecedented increase. The IWF sawa 86% rise in use of disguised websites, from 1,572 in 2016 to 2,909 in 2017. This implicates increased intelligence among offenders, who may be going to new lengths to evade detection.
  • Europe worst offender for hosting. Europe now hosts 65% of all confirmed IWF child sexual abuse imagery. This is up from 60% last year. The Netherlands continues to be the worst country for hosting child sexual abuse material.
  • Website brands. The number of child sexual abuse website brands rose by 112%.
  • Websites and newsgroups. In total, 80,318 reports of confirmed child sexual abuse were processed by the IWF, up from 59,548 in 2016. This was a 35% increase.

To read the IWF’s full 2017 Annual Report go to:  www.iwf.org.uk

Since becoming an IWF member, NetSupport has been supporting its fight by incorporating the IWF’s keywords into its education solutions. This means that a list of terms associated with online child sexual abuse material has been integrated into NetSupport’s products, alongside keywords for radicalisation, self-harm, drugs and more, triggering alerts and matching patterns of activity. For more information click here.

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