An Accredited Florida Law Enforcement Agency

Parents: Internet Safety

Chat rooms or games that allow “chatting” (electronic communication) between participants can be dangerous for children. Often times, sexual offenders will pose as children and so they can initiate a relationship with a child on-line and they go where your children go. In some cases, they first build a trusted relationship with a child and then tell them they are older but to keep it a secret from their parents. In other cases, sexual offenders continue to pose as a child and try to meet the child in a specific location. When the child learns of the offender’s true identity…it may be too late. Some Chat rooms are even more problematic because they not only provide a place for bad people to communicate with your child; they can also provide concealment from others by allowing private conversations and alerting offenders when others enter the same chat room.

Keep your kids safe online
  1. Ask yourself…is allowing my child “Internet access” truly necessary? Denying children, especially younger children, unsupervised Internet access is a safe decision.
  2. If your child does need access for school reports, etc., ensure they do it under direct adult supervision.
  3. Ensure computers with Internet access are placed in open areas of the home in full and plain view of other family members; this will discourage “secret” conversations or the viewing of questionable material by a child.
  4. Never allow your child to give out personal information such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number to persons they meet on-line. Ensure if they “meet a friend” on-line, that you as the parent are aware of the friend and review the conversations.
  5. Never allow your child to send a picture of themselves to someone they met while on-line.
  6. Encourage your child to tell you immediately if they ever encountered a person or a situation that made them feel uncomfortable or scared.
  7. Never allow them to meet with someone they met online.

Tell your Children that people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says that “she” is a 12 year old girl could be a man.