"Don't talk to strangers" has been a caring parent's mantra since time immemorial. Yet when it comes to keeping their kids safe online, many parents fail to enforce the same safety rules.
The anonymity of the Internet allows stalkers, sex offenders, scam artists, and a whole host of bad guys to come in contact with children more easily.
According to the 2006 report “Online Victimization: A Report on the Nation's Youth” by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
1 in 7 children between the ages of 10 and 17 received a sexual solicitation on-line;
1 in 3 had unwanted exposure to pictures of naked people or sexual activity; and
1 in 11 was threatened or harassed.
Those of us in criminal justice are all too familiar with these grim statistics. However, we also know the value of education as a tool for prevention.
As part of the work of the Attorney General's Office Youth Internet Safety Task Force, Internet safety expert Linda Criddle helped us create informative new Web content for teens, parents, educators and seniors to protect themselves from Internet crime. CLICK HERE TO VISIT WEB WISE WASHINGTON!
As part of the SafetyNet campaign, the Attorney General’s Office visited communities across Washington to share what we've learned from the experts about the dangers of the Internet and to talk about ways kids can avoid those dangers. We visited schools, met with law enforcement, and talked with PTAs and parent groups to spread the message about this important topic.
In 2006, the AGO teamed up with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to provide free train-the-trainer seminars to prepare up to 400 educators and law-enforcement officers to teach Internet safety using NetSmartz resources. NetSmartz creates age-appropriate educational materials to teach children and teens rules for online safety. Free activities and resources are available at: www.netsmartz.org.
The seminars were sponsored by a partnership of the Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Educational Service District 101, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and NetSmartz.
Qwest Connected Family Online Classroom
Also in 2006, Attorney General McKenna has joined the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and leaders across the state in encouraging 10,000 Washington parents and guardians to become informed about online safety issues and prevention tips through the Connected Family Online Classroom this year.
“The Washington Attorney General’s office has worked hard to strengthen laws to effectively keep sex predators out of our neighborhoods and communities, but the Internet can be a tougher place to police so families need to help. As a father of four, I’m pleased to support Qwest in this important program and encourage Washington families to join us and learn to be safer on the Internet.” — Attorney General Rob McKenna.
Cable Public Service Tips on Internet Safety
Finally, as part of Internet Safety Month, Attorney General McKenna recorded the following tips for Comcast: Internet Danger.
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