A Guide to Safety on the Internet

The Sheriff’s Office is currently participating in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose mission is to investigate sex crimes committed on the Internet. Our participation in this federal task force has netted several arrests thus making the Internet safer for our children.

Warning Signs That Your Child Might Be At-Risk Online

  • Your child spends large amounts of time online especially at night.
  • Your child receives telephone calls from individuals you do not know or is making calls to individuals you do not know.
  • You find pornography on the computer your child uses.
  • Your child receives gifts, packages or mail from someone you do not know.
  • Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen when you are near the computer.
  • Your child becomes withdrawn.
  • Your child uses an online account belonging to someone else.

Suggested Actions To Take If You Suspect Your Child Is Communicating With A Sexual Predator Online

  • Contact your local law enforcement agency.
  • Talk to your child openly about your suspicions.
  • Review what is on your child’s computer.
  • Monitor your child’s computer and any other electronic communications.
  • Use caller ID service to determine who is calling your child or consider purchasing a device which shows those telephone numbers that have been dialed from your home.

Suggestions On How To Limit Your Child’s Chances Of Being Victimized While Online

  • Talk openly with your child about the potential dangers.
  • Help your child to use the resources online in a responsible manner.
  • Spend time with your child online.
  • Keep the computer in a common room.
  • Maintain access to your child’s account and e-mail.

Remember To Tell Your Child The Following Advice

  • Whatever they are told online may or may not be true.
  • Never arrange to meet someone face-to-face.
  • Never upload pictures of themselves if they do not know the person.
  • Never give out personal information like name, social security number, home address, telephone number or school name.
  • Never download pictures from an unknown source because it could contain sexually explicit images.
  • Never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are sexually suggestive, obscene, belligerent or harassing.