Keeping Adults and Children Safe on the Internet
The Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate and function in our day-to-day lives exposing us all to an unimagined volume of ideas and possibilities. We are only beginning to understand the full impact that such expanded access to images and information is having on adults and children.
Access to the online world via computers, other communication devices and networks offers an experience of anonymity which increases the chance that both children and adults will take risks and experiment with behavior they might never attempt in “real life”. We must acknowledge our responsibility to educate ourselves and our children about safely using this rapidly changing technology. By taking protective actions in advance and speaking up about questionable behavior, we can help prevent harmful use of the Internet. Below are resources to learn more about protecting those you care about and responding effectively to concerning online activity.
Prevention Resources for Families:
The Internet and Children - What’s the Problem? published by Stop It Now! UK and Ireland.
In addition to offering Internet safety tips for families and children, this 30-page booklet encourages people to question their own use of the Internet and new technologies and to seek advice if they are accessing sexually harmful material online. It provides the information needed to recognize the signs that someone you care about may be at-risk or need help. Download a free copy.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
This national child abuse prevention organization hosts a comprehensive list of resources and publications that equip parents and guardians to take informed protective steps against child sexual exploitation. www.missingkids.com
U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations
A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety offers straight-forward definitions, FAQ’s, “what-if” scenarios, signs your child may be at risk, and suggestions about how to respond safely. www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm
Wired Kids, Inc.
Learn how to protect your privacy and security online, and how to teach responsible Internet use. Parenting Online, is a handbook available here offering guidance on what the real risks are and how to set the rules. www.wiredkids.org
Up-to-date practical information to prevent Internet dangers. Also offers “NetSmartz 411,” an online service allowing you to search and query their vast knowledge base for answers to questions about the online world. www.netsmartz.org
Often kids are too embarrassed, ashamed or afraid to tell their parents about online bullying. This comprehensive website on cyberbullying includes valuable information for parents, youth, schools, and law enforcement. Find out how you can take action to prevent or intervene in cyberbullying. www.stopcyberbullying.org
Join this online forum where parents, teens, educators, and experts discuss and learn about safe blogging and social networking. In addition to the forum, ConnectSafely offers social-media safety tips in English and Spanish, the latest in youth-tech news, and more. www.connectsafely.org
If You Are Concerned About Your Own or Someone Else’s Behaviors Online:
Croga.org - You Can Stop!
A free and anonymous, self-directed online program offers techniques to identify and cope with difficult emotions and thoughts which can lead to illegal use of the Internet. Not meant as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. www.croga.org
If you or someone you know is using the computer for sexual activities that are causing harm or hardship to themselves or those they love, there are resources here for self-tests, books, articles, and support, www.cybersexualaddiction.com
The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA)
A national membership of professionals who specialize in the treatment of adults and youth who are at risk to be or have been sexually abusive. Contact ATSA directly for a confidential referral. (503) 643-1023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting Internet Crime
An online and phone service which accepts leads regarding Internet criminal activity which are forwarded to law enforcement for review. Operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other state and law enforcement agencies, the Cybertipline is nationally recognized for its up-to-date and comprehensive resources on Internet safety and Internet crime reporting. Learn about the issue, what can be reported, and how to stay safe. www.cybertipline.com or 1-800-843-5678
The resources above are provided as a public service. Appearance on this list in no way constitutes Stop It Now!’s endorsement of an individual or organization. These resources are not a substitute for professional advice or clinical treatment. If you are concerned about an abusive situation, please seek professional assistance. If you need legal advice or counsel, please consult an attorney.
"Keeping Adults and Children Safe on the Internet" by Stop It Now! is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.stopitnow.org/terms_of_use.
Download and print this tip sheet.