Thursday, September 2, 2010

Internet Crimes Against Children Awareness

Thanks to Lt. John Conger for providing this timely reminder:

As our children return to school, their time spent on the internet will likely increase due to homework and other school responsibilities. Because of that we wanted to remind you of some safety tips to keep in mind and discuss with your children, regardless of age.
  • First, remember never to give out personal information such as your name, home address, school name, or telephone number in a chat room or on bulletin boards. Also, never send a picture of yourself to someone you chat with on the computer without your parent's permission.
  • Never write to someone who has made you feel uncomfortable or scared.
  • Do not meet someone or have them visit you without the permission of your parents.
  • Tell your parents right away if you read anything on the Internet that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could really be an older man.

We also remain committed to our participation in the nationwide law enforcement initiative, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Since joining the task force in early 2009 our agency has arrested four adult individuals that traveled to our community with the intent to have sexual relations with what they believed to be a 15 year old female girl. This should not be considered a victimless crime, as these predators will continue to troll the internet until they fulfill their desire to have sexual contact with a child. While the internet continues to evolve and our children have communication devices that evolve, we feel it is important to aggressively investigate online predators that intend to harm children, as well as provide the community with tips to keep their children safe. We encourage all parents to communicate these safety tips as well as have conversations about sexting, social networking, and appropriate use of the internet and cell phones.