Protecting your child from online predators

Do you know how to protect your children from online predators?

That is just one of the things students in the Kirksville Citizens TM Police Academy discussed during their last week of class Tuesday night.

They learned about the Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit and Missouri TMs ICAC which is the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.

Basically the computer crime unit for Kirksville serves 13 counties in Northeast Missouri, and we TMre also apart of ICAC, said Kirksville Police Department TMs Deputy Chief, Tim King. What we do is work proactive and reactive cases dealing with internet crimes against children. So what that means is anything from someone who is sending kids inappropriate pictures and videos to someone who is trading child pornography or producing child pornography.

So what are some ways to make sure your child does not become a victim?

The First and the biggest thing is to get the computers out of the bedrooms. That TMs where the predator wants the kid to be, is behind closed doors in their bedrooms and that's how they talk them into doing inappropriate things so, get the computers of the bedrooms and put them in common locations where everyone is going to be, said King.

King also encourage parents to keep track of what their kids are doing online. Whether its checking out the website their visiting, or even having them show you their social networking pages and what kind of information they have on there.

Make sure your children aren TMt posting any private information online, King said. That includes their birthday, address, phone number or information of their whereabouts.

King also says children should avoid posting pictures of themselves on their social networking pages like Facebook.

Not only can children become victims of online sexual predators they can also become victims of identity theft.

The biggest thing we want to make sure the kids understand is that the personal information they put online can be viewed by anyone, King said. That information can be used in different ways and predators being out there look at it and use that to either track the kids down, but also they use that information to steal their identity and open up credit card accounts.

The best advice King can give to anyone is to remember: what you post online stays online and anyone can get it.