ALBANY – As the school year comes to a close, Attorney General Eric. Schneiderman called on New Yorkers to notify his office of any online scam or sexual solicitation that threatens the safety and privacy of their families. To address a growing problem that has proliferated with the expansion of social media platforms, the Attorney General issued a series of tips for New Yorkers to protect children from Internet predators and scammers.
“The Internet is an incredible resource, but it is also the crime scene of the 21st century. To protect the privacy and safety of New York families, New Yorkers should report any suspicious activity online to our office so that we can stop cybercriminals in their tracks,” saidSchneiderman. “With schools out for summer, parents need to be armed with information to protect their children from potentially dangerous Internet predators who prey on kids.”
Research shows that one in seven children – from the ages of 10 to 17 – using the Internet has received an unwanted sexual solicitation, and many are the target of scams that can lead to identity theft. Children use the Internet more than any other age group.
The following is a list of tips designed to help protect your child on the Internet:
- Place your home computer in a central location, such as a family room, to make it easier to monitor what websites your child is accessing.
- Use blocking, filtering and monitoring software to protect your child from potentially dangerous sites.
- Log your child onto the Internet yourself and keep the password a secret.
- Ask your Internet service provider about blocking services that prevent your child from accessing bulletin boards and websites you find objectionable.
- Instruct your child not to provide any personal information about him or herself or other family members without your permission.
- Advise your child not to use his or her full name when online.
- Warn your child about strangers who attempt to set up meetings either online or in person.
- Encourage your child to tell you if something online makes him or her uncomfortable or frightened.
- Monitor your service bills or usage records to keep track of how much time your child is spending online.
Schneiderman urges parents to take an active role in protecting their children from online predators. They can educate themselves about the potential dangers on the Internet by visiting: www.ag.ny.gov/publications/2011/Publications/Your_Childs_Digital_Life.pdf