Cyber Safety: Know the warning signs
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Janene Holter, Senior Supervisory Special Agent, Education and Outreach Program, Office of Attorney General Tom Corbett, gave Internet Safety advice and information to youngster via their Operation Safe Surf program she gave to students attending the Tamaqua Salvation Army Summer Boot Camp. Officer Holter explained the five major reminders to help you stay safe on the internet. They are: "Never give out personal information to someone I meet online - like real name, address, telephone number or school.", "Never agree to get together with someone I meet on the internet.", Tell a parent, teacher or trusted adult if I see anything online that makes me feel uncomfortable.", "Don't send "flames" or bad remarks, as cyber bullying is very hurtful.", and "Don't post any photos of myself, friends or family without family permission." Pictured on left is Dina Depos, Tamaqua Salvation Army Programs Director.
Your child might be at risk if he or she:
- Spends large amounts of time online, especially late at night.
- Turns off computer quickly when you come into the room or becomes upset when you ask to see what they are doing online.
- Receives phone calls from adults you don't know.
- Receives mail or gifts from people you don't know.
- Uses an online account belonging to someone else.
- 100,000 web sites offer child pornography
- 79% of teens state that they aren't careful enough when giving out information about themselves online.
- 64% of teens say that they do things online that they wouldn't want their parents to know about.
- $3 billion of child pornography revenue annually.
- 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited online (only 25% of those told their parents"
- 89% of sexual solicitations occurred in either chat rooms or via instant messaging.
As a parent, learn as much as you can about the Internet (i.e. chat rooms, social networking sites, websites and news groups), especially from your children. Ask them to show you the places they visit online. This is a great way to keep the lines of communication open. You also can visit the parent resource area on the Attorney General's Web site at www.attorneygeneral.gov to learn more about Internet safety and access resources to help you keep your kids safe online. Through the Attorney General's Internet safety program Operation Safe Surf, an informative DVD
was created for adults to help them better understand the importance of Internet safety. The DVD features victim stories and gives a portrait of an online predator. It also presents information
on how and why kids should protect themselves online. Visit the Web site to order your free copy. There are also resources for kids.
If your child has been solicited online:
- Do not continue the chat.
- Immediately contact your local Police or the OAG Child Predator Unit at (800) 385-1044 or email@example.com