Social media. Apps. Video games. The opportunities to connect with others through digital platforms are expanding each day. It's important for parents and caregivers to talk regularly with their device-holding kids about the risks of virtual interaction. Read on to find information about online safety, recognizing grooming and predator behaviors, tips for starting the conversation with your family, and resources for reporting suspected illegal activity.
Internet Safety 101#
Did you know . . .
- 1 in 5 kids are subjected to unwanted sexual solicitation on the Internet.
- 1 in 5 teens ages 13-19 are taking photos of their intimate parts and sending them to friends.
- 25% of kids sexually solicited on the Internet told a trusted adult.
- 64% of teens report posting personal photos on the Internet and 58% report posting personal information such as where they live.
Throughout the year, Fort Collins police hosts Internet safety presentations to increase awareness and provide tools to keep everyone safe from the dangers of the Internet. Topics covered include:
- Sexual predators
- Online enticement and grooming
- Social networking websites
- Email, Instant Messaging (IM), Smartphones and Sexting
Check out the videos below to learn more about internet safety, including a full-length "Keep Kids Safe on the Internet" presentation from School Resource Officer and former detective Cpl. Keith Maynard.
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) - Internet safety page from the ICAC task force. Includes information geared toward parents and kids.
Netsmartz - Internet safety website run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Includes many free digital resources for parents and kids. Spanish version available.
Parental Guide to Mobile Apps - PDF guide to popular apps (ICAC).
Rules 'n Tools Checklist - If your child will have access to the internet on a computer, tablet, or phone, use this checklist to set expectations and proactively create a safe environment.
BPD Parent Internet Safety guide - PDF guide to popular apps.