Online Safety Tips for Your Family

Learn more about keeping your child safer online.

This Halloween, Use Your Local Sex Offender Registry and Stay Safe!

Do you know whose door your kids are knocking on while trick-or-treating? Every home may not be safe. There are more than 850,000 registered sex offenders in the United States[1], many convicted of crimes against minors. Before trick-or-treating this Halloween, sheriff’s offices and police departments advise parents to check their local sex offender registry. However, many parents may not know...

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Facebook Among Top Social Sites for Human Trafficking Activity 

In today’s hi-tech world, it’s too easy for predators to find and contact potential victims. Children and teens love making friends and posting on social media. But do they really know their online “friends”?  According to the 2020 Human Trafficking Report distributed by the Human Trafficking Institute, the internet is a major platform for traffickers to recruit sex trafficking victims. In...

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Summer Safety Includes Being “Screen Safe”

Summer Safety Includes Being “Screen Safe”

School’s out for summer and that means more free time for kids to play outdoors and online. Just as you remind them to keep safe outside by applying sunscreen and drinking water to stay hydrated, you should also continue your conversation about online safety: 1. Talk to your child about how to be safe online. Children are vulnerable and predators know this. It is important to be honest about...

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Follow These Easy and Important Steps to Keep Your Child Safer Online

Follow These Easy and Important Steps to Keep Your Child Safer Online

Parents should be proactive in protecting their children from online predators. Here are some to things to do now. The internet is a very powerful tool. It gives us instant access to enormous amounts of valuable information, amazing entertainment, and keeps us connected with friends and family. However, as useful and enjoyable as it is, the...

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Shining a Bright Light on Social Media’s Shadows

Shining a Bright Light on Social Media’s Shadows

Sexual predators have come to rely on the cover and anonymity of social media to identify, groom, and ensnare victims.  It is easier for criminals to cover their tracks in the digital realm than the terrestrial realm.  In addition, social media platforms, video games and other digital platforms provide predators with the ability to reach out nationally, far beyond their own zip codes....

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2020 App Roundup – Safety Recommendations for this Year’s Popular Apps

2020 App Roundup – Safety Recommendations for this Year’s Popular Apps

We often see questions from parents about the new apps their kids are using. Are they safe? What does this app do? Are there any parental controls I can use? Here are some recommendations from the OffenderWatch Team to help navigate this year’s most popular social media platforms.  Discord This app originally started as a meeting place for video gamers to chat but has evolved into a platform for...

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Sexting Prevention 101 – Tips for Parents

Sexting Prevention 101 – Tips for Parents

Parents—Are Your Kids Sexting?   What is sexting?  Sexting, slang for “sexual texting,” is the sending or receiving of a sexually suggestive text, photo, or video via a device. Teens often participate in this kind of interaction to look cool, fit in, flirt or have a “safe” alternative to sex without physical interaction. While it may not transmit...

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What Parents and Youth Should Know About Sextortion

What Parents and Youth Should Know About Sextortion

Sextortion is an internet crime in which young girls and boys are being increasingly targeted. A young life can be turned upside down by an online predator who takes advantage of youth and vulnerability to terrorize and demand sexually explicit images.Sextortion [sexual + extortion] is a form of sexual exploitation that happens when a perpetrator uses coercion to obtain sexual images, videos,...

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How to Defend You and Your Children Against “Zoombombs”

How to Defend You and Your Children Against “Zoombombs”

While many of us and our children have gone back to work and school, a lot of people across the country are still dealing with blended online and in-person meetings, lectures, webinars and school lessons. The FBI continues to educate the public about the threat of “Zoombombing,” or the infiltration of malicious actors in private online meetings, and has reported over 240 instances of Zoom...

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The 22 Dangerous Apps Parents Should Look for On Their Kids’ Phones

The 22 Dangerous Apps Parents Should Look for On Their Kids’ Phones

The average person has over 45 apps.  Parents should look out for these potentially dangerous apps on their child's phone. ASKfm is a social media app that encourages people to allow anonymous users to ask them questions. It is known for cyber-bullying, trolling, swatting, and encouraging suicidal behaviors. Avoid this app. Badoo is an adult dating app. While age restrictions are...

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