Protecting Children Online
With constant changes in crime trends, law enforcement is often required to revise methods of fighting crime. The most significant change in crime trends is the use of the internet to assist criminals in committing crimes. Though the internet is a valuable tool used for education, shopping, and communicating, it also poses dangers towards unsuspecting children.
The most important rule in internet safety is NEVER GIVE OUT PERSONAL
Personal information would include last name, home address, and phone number.
Children should not be using the internet to make purchases, and therefore have no
justifiable reason to provide any personal information with out parent's permission.
Parents should make certain their children know not to agree or make arrangements to meet in person with someone they meet/chat with online. Children should also be taught that just because someone identifies them self online as a ten year old female, does not mean that in reality the person is not, or could not be, a middle aged male. Criminals are deceptive in person and more so online where their identity can be concealed.
Children need to be advised of how to respond when confronted with offensive email or chat, or messages that make them feel uncomfortable. Teach children to show an adult any message received that makes them feel uncomfortable. Parents should also be aware of the new laws in Texas that protect children from certain types of these offensive emails or messages. Read more about the laws regarding on offensive communication with children on our Sexting page. Build a rapport with your child by letting them show you what they can do online, what web sites they enjoy going to, and what internet friends they've made.
Internet blogging is a journal kept online that others can access and read. For children, blogging can be a great way to practice writing skills taught at school. Remind children not to post anything that would help someone online identify them. They should not post anything about what school they go to, what the name of sports teams they play on are, or things that can identify their friends. Practice giving your child's personal friends "nicknames" not associated with their real name to use in blogging.
Contact you internet service provider and find out what child control features are available to you. Most internet service providers now provide age appropriate controls that you can alter to allow more or less freedom to your child. Internet accounts should always be in the parent's name with controlling access to passwords and internet filtering devices. Parents should always have access to a child's account and password to log in under the child's account and view favorite websites, friends, and internet history.
If you have any questions on protecting your child online, we have included several resource links below for your information. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Links for Parents
Documents for Parents
Links for Kids