Our children represent the future and hold our hopes for a better Kansas. Protecting our children against the fear of crime and from becoming victims of crime must be a law enforcement and community priority.
Technological advancements have made many things in our lives more convenient, including shopping, communicating and learning. Unfortunately the same advances are also exposing our children to new threats from cyber sex predators.
Being a parent today is a difficult job. The Attorney General's Office helps parents learn how to best protect their families online by sharing warning signs of cyberbullying and teaching "chat" language.
Tips for Parents:
- Keep the computer in a central location in your home instead of in a bedroom or office if at all possible.
- Know when your children are online and establish parameters for their online activity.
- Set up the Internet account in your name and maintain control of the primary screen name and controlling passwords.
- Contact your Internet Service Provider to set up any parental-control tools that allow you to block certain sites and filter content. Remember: these programs are not a substitute for parental supervision and communication about the Internet.
- Ask your children to show you what they can do online, visit their favorite sites with them and talk about what applications they are using.
- Teach your children to never give their personal information (name, address, phone number, school, hometown) to people they meet online in chat rooms or on bulletin boards.
- Ask your children about their online friends and oversee their chat areas.
- Tell your children about the danger of meeting someone in person who they "met" online. Remind them that not everything they read or see on the Internet is true.
- If you feel it is OK for your child to meet their online friends, insist they bring you along and meet in a public place.
- Talk to your children about offensive or dangerous emails or chats. Tell them to never respond to these messages. Rather than deleting such communications, tell your child to turn off the monitor and tell an adult immediately so they may contact local law enforcement.
- Talk to children about what to do if they see something that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused. Emphasize that it's not their fault if they see something upsetting and that they should tell an adult immediately.
- If you suspect online "stalking" or sexual exploitation of a child, report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately.