Pedophiles have a secret code and it's been in front of us this whole time.

They look like a simple heart. Or a butterfly. But the truth is, these symbols represent something much, much worse.

Discovered by the FBI in 2007, these are the symbols pedophiles reportedly use to identify their vile sexual preferences and communicate freely with each other.

Etched into rings, jewellery, coins and shared across the internet, these symbols are reportedly “used by child sexual predators to promote their cause”.

When discovered, the FBI sent the symbols to police across the United States, before the symbols were published online by WikiLeaks.

Here’s a run-down of the four main symbols used by pedophiles to indicate their preferences.

The BoyLover symbol. Image: YouTube.

Known as the BoyLover logo,  this triangle inside a triangle signifies that a man likes younger boys.

It is also sometimes drawn with a child-like scrawl, to indicate the man prefers much younger boys.

The GirlLover symbol. Image: YouTube.

This heart within a heart, known as the GirlLover logo indicates that a pedophile prefers young girls.

The ChildLover symbol. Image: YouTube.

For pedophiles without a specific gender preference, the alleged ChildLover logo is used.

The ChildLover symbol uses a butterfly made out of hearts, and is fairly inconspicuous as it looks similar to something you may see on a child's toy or clothing item.

The Childlove Online Media Activism logo. Image: YouTube.

Finally, there is the Childlove Online Media Activism logo. This symbol, made up of the BoyLover and GirlLover symbols mashed together in a circle, is reportedly used by pedophiles to promote "their cause".

The FBI believes this symbol is used by pedophiles to promote the decriminalisation of sexual relationships between adults and minors.

The FBI document states, "these organisations seek to decriminalise sexual relationships between adults and children and to legalise child pornography based on their belief that children have the ability to consent to sexual acts".

Have you ever seen one of these symbols online? Let us know down below.