argo Police Department
201 Highland Avenue, Largo FL 33770727-587-6728
Crime AnalysisDeclassified Information
October 7, 2009
Feature of the WeekInternet SafetyKeeping our Children Safe
The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the University of New Hampshire'sCrimes Against Children Research Center and NetSmartz conducted a comparison study of “1,500 youth aged 10 to 17”.The study documented and compared the juvenile's “use of the Internet and experiences while online including unwantedexposure to sexual solicitation, sexual material, and harassment”. The statistical data was generated by comparing yearlyreports 1999 and 2005. The statistics are disturbing. In 2005, 34% of juvenile Internet users “saw sexual material online”compared to 25% in 1999. Also, 4% said “online solicitors asked them for nude or sexually explicit photographs ofthemselves”. The chart below delivers SOBERING statistical data regarding teen Online Behaviors. And, “20% of teensreport that this is safe (i.e.”somewhat” or “very safe”) to share personal information on a public blog or networking site”.Parents it's never too late to talk to your children or teens about protecting themselves and their identity from Internetpredators. I strongly suggest visiting www.netsmartz.org.It is a wonderful website full of resources, stories, and has
interactive activities for all age groups.
* Establish guidelines and rules.* Know who communicates with your children.
Learn about the Internet.
*Consider using Internet filters or blocks.
How to Talk to Your Kids about better protecting their online lives
Prepare your children for the online world just asyou would for the real world.
*Familiarize yourself with the programs your childrenare using.
Place the family's computer in a common roomwhere supervision and guidelines are met.Limiting your children's computer time is notenough to safeguard them on the Internet.
* Talking about the benefts and dangers on theInternet and making sure your children are makingsmart decisions while online is also important.
Explain to your children that Instant Messenger (IM) is only for chatting with school and familyfriends who they know by face and are approvedby you.
*Make sure they can put a face to every screen nameon their IM “buddy list”.
65% of incidents happen in chatrooms.
*Make sure your children know how dangerous it is togive out personal information such as their name,mailing address or E-mail address.*Stress the fact that it is not safe to get together withsomeone they first “meet” online.Only 18% said they'll tell an adult.The information and statistical data contained in thisbulletin was gathered from netsmartz.org.61% of 13 to 17 year olds have a personal profile on asite such as MySpace, Friendster, or Xanga. Half have also posted pictures of themselves online.71% reported receiving messages online formsomeone they don't know,45% have been asked for personal information bysomeone they don't know.30% have considered meeting someone that they'veonly talked to online.14% have actually met a person face-to-face thatthey've only spoken to over the Internet (9% of 13-15s; 22% of 16-17s)When teens received messages online from someonethey don't know, 40 % reported that they'll usuallyreply and chat with that person.