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Frequently Asked Questions

What action should I take if I witness or experience inappropriate posts or online behavior that makes myself or my child feel uncomfortable?  (This includes cyber bullying, the use of sexually explicit language with a child, the request for nude images from a child, the receipt of obscene material by a child).

Immediately contact your local law enforcement agency and/or create a CyberTip report through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

What is a CyberTip?

A CyberTip, short for CyberTipline report, is a report submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  NCMEC gathers leads and tips regarding suspected online crimes against children and forwards them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

How do I create a CyberTip?

To create a CyberTip with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), go to www.missingkids.com, and click “MAKE A CYBERTIPLINE REPORT.”  Include all pertinent details regarding the situation (e.g., usernames, dates, screenshots, etc.).

What do I do if my child is being cyber bullied (cruel, embarrassing, and/or impolite comments directed toward your child online)?

In addition to contacting local law enforcement and/or creating a CyberTip report, have your child either block the bully or deactivate their profile from the online account.  If the bully is someone from your child’s school, inform school officials about the situation and, if possible, provide screen shots documenting the bully’s online behavior. 

What can I do as a parent to keep my child safe online?

  • Learn the Internet and get involved; know where your child hangs out online and be informed of current trends.  Be their parent, not their friend, when it comes to online activity.  It only takes a moment for a child to make a wrong decision that could affect the rest of their life.
  • Make sure that your child uses all available privacy settings.  No personal information should be shared or posted online.   
  • Establish your own presence on social media and require that your child “friend” you.
  • Know your child’s IDs and passwords for all electronic devices, apps, email accounts, and social media accounts.
  • Regulate the amount of time and hours of the day that your child spends online.  Excessive use of the Internet, especially late at night, may indicate a problem.    

Should I just forbid my child from going online?

No.  Almost all things in our society come with some inherent danger.  Educating children on how to safely and responsibly use the Internet at a young age will assist them in their academic and professional endeavors later on in life.

Can my child be prosecuted for taking, sending, or possessing nude images of another child?

Under Ohio law, it is illegal to produce, disseminate, or possess child pornography.  If your child receives unsolicited images depicting another child in a state of nudity, contact law enforcement immediately.