OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children Unit Warns of Dangers
Ponca City Now - December 17, 2015 2:04 pm
Electronics are on the holiday wish list for many children in our state, but the Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force wants parents to exercise caution when allowing children to use smart devices.
In 2014, more than 800 instances of child sexual exploitation were reported to the OSBI through the Cybertipline, with each case involving the use of computers, apps, chats, or social media.
Parents are urged to consider the following tips:
- Monitor your child’s usage of electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, readers, web cams, and laptops, as well as their usage of apps, games, and social media accounts. It is not a good idea to allow this usage to be private. Instead, children should use these in open areas of the home, such as the living room or kitchen.
- It is important to remember that although strangers continue to be a threat, oftentimes children and teens are exploited by people they know. A large number of child pornography images are taken by the children themselves and sent to others they know or think they know.
- Utilize device and software parental controls, as well as safety features available for your children’s devices and apps.
Parents are also encouraged to communicate openly about online activity with their children.
Children should be able to identify risky behavior and know what to do if something bad happens.
If you are the victim of sexual misconduct online or observe this type of behavior, you should immediately report the incident to www.cybertipline.com, the OSBI, or local law enforcement.