Online Safety Tips For Kids


  • While on-line computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for children, expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life, they can be exposed to dangers as they hit the road exploring the information highway. There are individuals who attempt to sexually exploit children through the use of on-line services and the Internet. Some of these individuals gradually seduce their targets through the use of attention, affection, kindness, and even gifts. These individuals are often willing to devote considerable amounts of time, money, and energy in this process. They listen to and empathize with the problems of children. They will be aware of the latest music, hobbies, and interests of children. These individuals attempt to gradually lower children’s inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations.
  • There are other individuals, however, who immediately engage in sexually explicit conversation with children. Some offenders primarily collect and trade child-pornographic images, while others seek face-to-face meetings with children via on-line contacts. It is important for parents to understand that children can be indirectly victimized through conversation, i.e. “chat,” as well as the transfer of sexually explicit information and material. Computer-sex offenders may also be evaluating children they come in contact with on-line for future face-to-face contact and direct victimization. Parents and children should remember that a computer-sex offender can be any age or sex the person does not have to fit the caricature of a dirty, unkempt, older man wearing a raincoat to be someone who could harm a child.
  • Children, especially adolescents, are sometimes interested in and curious about sexuality and sexually explicit material. They may be moving away from the total control of parents and seeking to establish new relationships outside their family. Because they may be curious, children/adolescents sometimes use their on-line access to actively seek out such materials and individuals. Sex offenders targeting children will use and exploit these characteristics and needs. Some adolescent children may also be attracted to and lured by on-line offenders closer to their age who, although not technically child molesters, may be dangerous. Nevertheless, they have been seduced and manipulated by a clever offender and do not fully understand or recognize the potential danger of these contacts.
  •  The below link will take you to the complete FBI Parent Guide and answer any questions you may have.  This guide was prepared from actual investigations involving child victims, as well as investigations where law enforcement officers posed as children. Further information on protecting your child on-line may be found in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Child Safety (also below) on the Information Highway and Teen Safety on the Information Highway pamphlets.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • Frequently Asked Questions:
  • My child has received an e-mail advertising for a pornographic website, what should I do? Generally, advertising for an adult, pornographic website sent to an e-mail address does not violate federal law or the current laws of most states.  In some states it may be a violation of law if the sender knows the recipient is under the age of 18.
  • Is any service safer than the others? Sex offenders have contacted children via most of the major on-line services and the Internet. The most important factors in keeping your child safe on-line are the utilization of appropriate blocking software and/or parental controls, along with open, honest discussions with your child, monitoring his/her on-line activity, and following the tips in this pamphlet.
  • Should I just forbid my child from going on-line?  There are dangers in every part of our society. By educating your children to these dangers and taking appropriate steps to protect them, they can benefit from the wealth of information now available on-line.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Cyber Division

Innocent Images National Initiative

11700 Beltsville Drive

Calverton, MD 20705

Contact your local FBI office for further information

This information is sponsored by the Shiner Law Group.  If you need help or have been victimized in any way with internet exploitation, please contact an attorney with the Shiner Law Group as soon as possible to learn of your legal options. Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 561-368-3363, TOLL FREE: 855-368-3363