Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

June 17, 2013

Pennsylvanians reminded to stay safe online during Internet Safety Month

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today reminded Pennsylvanians of the importance of online safety, especially during the summer months.

June is National Internet Safety Month, and as young people increase their online during summer vacation, parents are encouraged to monitor their children's online activity and talk to their children about staying safe online.

Each year undercover agents report an increase in the number of Internet predators questioning children about their summer vacation plans, or asking them about times where they may be home alone. Typically, as part of the discussions they suggest meeting the children or sending them sexually graphic videos.

"Online safety and security should be a topic of discussion every month, not just in June," Kane said. "I encourage parents to stress to their children that they should always tell a trusted adult if an online stranger says or does something inappropriate or sexual in nature."

In April, the Attorney General's Office teamed with Facebook in an online safety campaign to provide teenagers and parents with tips and resources to better manage the information they share - and with whom they share it - both on Facebook and the Internet.

Attorney General Kane joined with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in taping a public service announcement entitled, "What You Can Do to Control Your Information," which addresses top questions about privacy bullying prevention and general Internet safety. A copy of AG Kane's public service announcement is available at http://vimeo.com/user14100391/review/64205091/03aa64cf6a.

Although the awareness campaign targets young people, the online privacy resources can be utilized by all consumers. The effort also includes a privacy tip sheet and an "Ask the Safety Team" video series, where Facebook will answer users' questions. Both can be found at www.facebook.com/fbsafety.

Additionally parents and other caregivers should monitor how kids are using the Internet, including:

  • Checking the websites they use frequently.
  • Searching the social networking sites they visit.
  • Asking them to show you their online profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other popular sites.

Kane said that parents should also emphasize that kids should not share personal information online, like full names, ages, addresses, phone numbers, school information, and sports practice schedules.

The Attorney General's Education and Outreach Section offers free programs to schools and community groups. These programs are specifically designed to tackle the hard questions kids have about Internet safety, cyber-bullying, and how they can keep themselves safe online.

Organizations interested in materials, speakers, or presentations should contact the Attorney General's Education and Outreach Office at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at education@attorneygeneral.gov.  

Suspected internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General's Office by clicking on the "Report a Predator" link, located on the front page of the Attorney General's website, at www.attorneygeneral.gov or by calling the toll-free Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044.

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