A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety

Message from District Attorney

As a teacher, coach and administrator my most important lesson was that it is easier to change children’s behavior than adults. As such, we must work together as a community to protect and educate our children on abuse that flows from technology.

Lemuel L. Martinez, District Attorney

Stay Informed, Stay Connected

The first step in protecting your children from potential online risks is to stay informed about internet trends and learn to recognize the warning signs of these risks. Whether your child is online posting on a message board, using a social networking site or sending e-mails, assist them with these tasks to ensure they practice safe online behavior.

Be Aware of Potential Risks:

Cyberbullying: The intentional harassment through technology like cell phones, social media sites and online games.

  • About 32% of online teens ages 12-17 have been cyberbullied.
  • Girls are more likely to be targeted.
  • Youth who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual are more likely to be involved, as a victim and/or bully.
    • Examples include:
      • Sending someone mean texts that are threatening.
      • Altering a picture to embarrass someone
      • Creating a fake profile to post insulting information or images.
      • Spreading rumors and gossip online
      • Posting fight videos online to embarrass the person who lost.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS & ADULTS

  • Establish expectations, let your child know that you think bullying and cyberbullying are unacceptable.
  • Set consequences, let your child know that using the internet is a privilege that can be taken away or restricted.
  • Model good online behavior yourself. Children learn from adults around them.

 

Cyber Predators: Child predators use the internet as a way of reaching potential victims. Child predators groom potential victims in: chat rooms, message boards and social networking sites. Cyber predators are:

  • Mostly men, age 26 or older. Studies show 99% of predators are male.
  • Generally not pedophiles. Online predators typically target teens.
  • Online predators rarely lie about being an adult. Studies show 5% of offenders pretend to be teens.

Cyber grooming is actions taken with the purpose of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child. Grooming symptoms include:

  • Calling unknown numbers.
  • Getting upset when he/she can’t get online.
  • Minimizing the screen when an adult is near.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS & ADULTS

  • Talk to your child about sex & healthy relationships.
  • Set policy about meeting offline for older teens.
  • Encourage your child to not accept friend requests from anyone they don’t already know.
  • Talk to your child about grooming and the ways predators try to manipulate their victims and not to share too much information online.

 

Sexting: The act of sending sexually explicit messages and/or photographs, primarily between mobile phones.

  • 20% of teens (aged 13-19) and 33% of young adults (aged 20-26) have shared explicit pictures of themselves via text or by posting online.
  • 51% of teen girls cite pressure from guys as a reason to send messages.
  • 88% of self made explicit images are stolen and then made available on other media sources.
  • Once sent a “sext” can easily be accessed and spread without the originator’s consent.
  • Teenagers taking, sending, or possessing explicit photos can be charged with distribution and/or possession of child pornography.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS & ADULTS

  • Talk to your child about the consequences of sexting.
  • Teach them to never forward a sexting image.
  • Talk to your child about ways an image can spread online without their control.
  • Report sexting to your child’s school or local police if you know a child is being blackmailed, a photo is being shared without consent, or if a child is being bullied.

 

How to Help Your Child

Save the evidence. You’ll need proof if there is an investigation.

  • Block cyberbullies. Use website features that allow you to block a user who is bothering your child.
  • Set up new accounts ie, email, IM, social media and cell phones. Only give this information to friends you trust.
  • Talk to the school. Work with teachers and administrators to address the bullying in school.
  • Report it to the website where the bullying is taking place. You can report unwanted text messages to your cell phone provider.
  • Above all, call the police if you suspect your child is talking to an online predator.

Personal Information You Should NOT Share

  • Passwords
  • Location
  • School Address(es)
  • Phones numbers

Report Abuse & Suspicious Activity
Na
tional Center for Missing and Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678
www.netsmartz.org
www.netsmartzkids.org
www.cybertipline.com
www.werekickinit.org

 

PDF-icon A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety Information


 

Resources:

Cibola County Law Enforcement:
Cibola County Sheriff Office(505) 876-2040
Acoma Pueblo Police Department(505) 552-6601
Grants Police Department(505) 287-5144
Laguna Pueblo Police Department(505) 552-6685
Milan Police Department(505) 287-4491
Pine Hill – Ramah Navajo Police Department(505) 775-3226
New Mexico State Police(505) 287-4377

 

Sandoval County Law Enforcement: 
Sandoval County Sheriff Office(505) 867-7526
Bernalillo Police Department(505) 867-2304
Cochiti Pueblo Police Department(505) 465-3136
Corrales Police Department(505) 898-7585
Cuba Police Department(505) 289-9157
Jemez Pueblo Police Department(575) 834-0468
Jemez Springs Police Department(575) 829-3345
Kewa Pueblo - B.I.A. Police
(505) 346-2868/2869
Rio Rancho Police Department(505) 891-5900
Sandia Pueblo Police Department(505) 890-1428
San Felipe Pueblo – B.I.A. Police
(505) 346-2868/2869
Santa Ana Pueblo Police Department(505) 891-7226
San Ysidro Police Department(575) 834-7581
New Mexico State Police(505) 841-9256

 

Valencia County Law Enforcement: 
Valencia County Sheriff Department(505) 865-9603
Belen Police Department(505) 864-6288
Bosque Farms Police Department(505) 869-2358
Isleta Pueblo Police Department(505) 869-6511
Los Lunas Police Department(505) 865-9130
New Mexico State Police(505) 841-9256

 

New Mexico State Law Enforcement: 
New Mexico State Police(505) 827-9300