Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Office of the Bucks County District Attorney
PARENTAL INTERNET AWARENESS
KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN SAFE ON THE INTERNET
The Internet opens the world to your children
Every parent knows how their child can benefit from having access to the Internet. The World-Wide-Web provides opportunities for children to learn and express themselves in ways that previous generations could not imagine. Activities such as electronic mail and instant messaging allow children to communicate with each other in unique ways, helping them develop both the social and computer skills that they will need to succeed in the future.
The Internet, however, as with any other innovation, has a unique set of dangers that many of us who grew up in the pre-computer generation are sometimes unprepared to handle.
By assisting parents to recognize these dangers, and helping address them, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office hopes to make the Internet a safe place for your children.
WHAT SORTS OF DANGERS ARE OUT THERE?
Children can face dangers from:
- Internet Predators
- Sexual Exploitation
- Exposure to Pornography
- Identity Theft
WHO POSES THESE THREATS?
The most serious problem facing parents and children online is determining the true identity of the individuals they meet over the Internet. Few people online are exactly who they claim to be . Unfortunately, children often don’t realize this fact until it is too late.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN?
The Internet enables children to go anywhere and meet anyone in the world. To protect your children from those people who would seek to harm them, here are some helpful tips:
- Learn as much about your children’s Internet friends as you would about their real friends. Know who they are talking to, and what they are talking about.
- Make sure your computer is in a common room of the home, like the kitchen. The more traffic, the better. Never let your child surf the Internet alone behind closed doors.
- Make sure your children know that they can talk to you if something happens to them while on-line.
- Familiarize yourself with the lingo children use online.
WHAT STEPS IS LAW ENFORCEMENT TAKING?
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to making sure that your children are safe on the Internet. We employ Detectives and Prosecutors who are specially trained in the prevention and prosecution of computer facilitated crimes. The District Attorney’s Office has also added a computer forensic laboratory to assist in the apprehension of Internet predators.
COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
In order to prepare students and their parents to recognize and avoid the dangers associated with Internet use, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office has developed “The Internet Crime and Safety Program” for Grades 6 through 12, and a separate presentation for parents entitled “Parental Internet Awareness: Protecting your Children on the Internet.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE PROGRAMS?
These educational forums are presented free of charge as a public service by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. If you are interested in hosting a student or parent program at your school, please have your PTO or School Administration contact:
Mark Cheramie Walz
Deputy District Attorney
Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901