Internet Crimes Against Children

Children often have easy and unlimited access to the internet. These simple tips can be helpful in protecting a child from becoming a victim of an internet crime.

Computer Crime JPEG
Tips For Families
1. Keep the family computer in a high traffic area of your home. Don’t allow children to play on computers in rooms with closed doors.
2. Post internet rules by the computer. For suggestions on these tips, visit the NetSmartz link at the end of this page.
3. Make sure children know which friends they are allowed to communicate with online.
4. Have your children show you the websites they visit. Take an interest in the game sites they visit and offer to let them show you how to play.  Review their browsing history.
5. Bookmark safe sites for your children and encourage them to visit those sites.
6. Activate internet filters.
7. Encourage your children to choose screen names and email addresses that do not give personal information such as gender, age or home address.
8. Children should not share their passwords with anyone except for their parents. Encourage your children not to share passwords with anyone, even friends.
9. Children especially should avoid revealing too much information on profile pages. Never share age, school, address, phone number or personal information about family.
10. Remind children not to answer messages from someone they don’t know.
11. Children should not respond to threatening or inappropriate messages. Remind them to tell a parent or guardian if they are getting these messages.
12. Remind your children never to post messages online that are hurtful to someone else.
13. Keep communication open. Children should feel comfortable talking to a parent or guardian if an incident occurred.
14. If an incident does occur, keep copies of emails and messages to turn over to law enforcement officials.

Information for Parents
Cyberbullying occurs when a child is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Online exploitation, another internet crime, involves adults attempting to lure children into offline meetings. If your child is displaying any of the following behaviors they may be a victim of cyberbullying or online exploitation.

     -Change in personality
     -Change in or loss of friends
     -Drop in grades
     -Becoming more secretive
     -Increased isolation

Useful Links - Missouri’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force - The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.