Online safety and privacy are important for adults and youth alike. It is important to practice healthy online behavior in your home. Over 70% of 9-17 year olds will encounter nudity or content of a sexual nature online. Additionally, the FBI has warned that there is a threat of individuals posing as minors on popular social media or social networks to lure victims in lieu of immediate, in person ruse with the intent to abduct. There are steps you can take now to be safe and keep predators out.
Check with your children to see if their social media and online accounts are private.
Set parental controls on phones, apps, and websites.
Be aware of possession of a cell phone not provided by you, the parent/guardian.
Make sure you know what your children are doing online and check on them if they are in their rooms for long interrupted periods of time
Remind children to never give out their full name, address, phone number, school name or other personal identifying information to people on the internet.
Talk about what is appropriate to post online and what is not. Do not post nude, partially nude, or revealing photos. Once an image is online, it can be saved, used, and shared beyond your control.
Ask your children about who they are talking to online. Encourage caution when talking to people online. Unfortunately, sometimes an online personality can be a predator.
Pay attention to the use of trafficking-related terms like “Trick,” “The Life,” or “The Game.”
children about clicking on online ads or pursuing a purchase through an ad. Some ads are used to trick the user into sharing personal information.
Visit the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Website for more tips and information: https://ag.hawaii.gov/hicac/
The key to practicing safety is by having face-to-face, open conversations with your children. Once you have created a safe virtual space, empower your child(ren) to talk with you if they see or hear something that is a red flag. Keeping virtual conversations safe is a key part of protecting youth and we can do this by being involved and engaged (not helicopter) parents.
We recommend the webinar Online Safety Training for Parents, Caregivers, and Community Members.
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“Ho`ōla Nā Pua, meaning ‘New Life for Our Children,’ was founded to shine light onto the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of our mission and vision for our community.”