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With mobile computing so widespread, parents, guardians, educators and community leaders must learn how to keep up with technology to better protect our children. While the Ohio ICAC Task Force does work to uncover and prosecute child predators, you, as the parent, are the most effective guardian of your child’s safety. The impact you can make on your child’s life as an involved and informed parent is monumental.
- Know your children’s ID’s and passwords to all of their devices, apps, email and social media accounts. Randomly check the accounts and be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.
- Talk to your child about online sexual victimization and potential online dangers.
- Keep your child’s computer in an open area of your home, not in your child’s bedroom. Do not allow your child to hide computer activity from you.
- Spend time with your children online; know their online friends and habits, and do not allow them to create a personal profile online or otherwise give out identifying information such name, address, school name or phone number.
- Set rules for computer use for your children, discuss them and make sure that they are followed; teach them the responsible use of online resources.
- Monitor the amount of time your children spend online. Excessive use, especially late at night, may indicate a problem.
- Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child's school, the public library, and at the homes of your child's friends.
- Instruct your children to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online.
- Review what is on your child's computer. If you don't know how, ask a friend, coworker, relative, or other knowledgeable person. Pornography or any kind of sexual communication can be a warning sign.
- Use Caller ID to determine who is calling your child, as well as who your child is calling.
PROTECT YOUR Wi-Fi:
- Always make sure your wireless signal is password protected, and can only be accessed by those living in your home.
- Unsecured wireless (Wi-Fi) signals can be exploited by predators to access the internet. To investigators, illegal activity would appear to come from your residence. You would have no idea that someone was using your Internet signal.
- If you witness or experience cyber bullying, inappropriate posts or messages, or any other behavior that makes you or your child feel uncomfortable, immediately tell law enforcement.
- To create a cybertip with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), go to cybertipline.com, and click “make a cybertipline report”. Include all pertinent details of the situation: screenshots, usernames and dates. After the cybertip is submitted, if the incident occurred in Ohio, it will be forwarded to Ohio ICAC or the closest affiliate.
MY CHILD HAS BEEN CYBER BULLIED:
- If your child is cyber bullied, delete their profile on the online account and have a talk with your child about overcoming bullying. If you know the bully and their parents, attempt to peacefully reconcile the situation parent to parent.
- If you do not know the bully, create a cybertip with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
- If you feel something illegal has occurred, make a report with local law enforcement.
AN ADULT HAS CONTACTED MY CHILD ONLINE:
- Do NOT retaliate or respond to posts, emails or multi-media content.
- Gather evidence and document the incident including photographs of the screen or cell phone.
- Do NOT delete anything.
- Do NOT conduct your own investigation. All evidence should be turned over to law enforcement.
- Make a detailed report to local law enforcement.
- Make a NCMEC cybertip, noting which police department you have contacted locally.
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