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Photos by Fritz Rethage

FBI Internet Safety Program
[HHPD unofficial page]

HHPD sponsored a FBI Internet Safety Program on January 24 , 7:30 P.M. at HHHS Auditorium.
Because of the adult subject, no children were permitted.

FBI Special Agents Bob Bukowski and Jim Furry made a two part presentation.  The first section provided 12 tips on how parents can better supervise their children using the computer.  Some of the tips included that children should:

  1. Never arrange a face-to-face or phone meeting with someone they met on-line.

  2. Never upload pictures of themselves  to people that they do not personally know.

  3. Never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name or telephone number.

  4. Never download pictures from an unknown sources (as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images).

  5. Never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or harassing.

  6. Understand that what ever they are told on-line --  "may, or may not be true"!

The Special Agents also provide signs that a child might be at risk on-line. They included:

  1. Your child spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at night.

  2. You find pornography on your child's computer.

  3. Your child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize.

  4. Your child receives mail, gifts or packages from someone you don't know.

  5. Your child turns the computer monitor off, or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.

  6. Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.

  7. Your child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else.

The Special Agents also provided some practical suggestions on how to minimize the chances of an on-line exploiter victimizing your child.

  1. Communicate and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line dangers.

  2. Spend time with your children on-line.  Have them teach you about their favorite on-line destinations.

  3. Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom. It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member of the household.

  4. Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software.  While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex-offenders.  Use of chat rooms, in particular, should be heavily monitored.  While parents should utilize these mechanisms, they should not totally rely on them.

  5. Always maintain access to your child's on-line account and randomly check his/her e-mail.  Be aware that you child could be contacted through the US Mail.  Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.

  6. Teach your child the responsible use of the resources on-line.  There is much more to the on-line experience than chat rooms.

  7. Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by our child's school, the public library and a the homes of your child's friend.  These area are places, outside your normal supervision, where your child could could encounter an on-line predator

  8. Understand, even if your child was a willing participant in any forms of sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault; he/she is the victim.  The offender always bears the complete responsibility of his or her actions.

During the second segment, Special Agents "went on-line"  and dramatically demonstrated how easy it was to find out information on children -- especially when children  provided any "chat-room" profile information.

The FBI strongly recommended that parents monitor their children's computer usage.

Refreshments were served in the cafeteria following program.


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Links: www.fbi.gov   (973-792-3000) Newark Field Office, and  www.missingkids.com (800-843-5678) for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children cyper-tipline.

Source: FBI pamphlet "A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety".

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Editor's Note: It is the policy of this web-site that children's names are listed as first name and last initial. i.e. Mary L. or John D.

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FBI Special Agent Jim Furry

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FBI Special Agent Bob Bukowski (former Heights resident)

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FBI Special Agent Bob Bukowski provided an online demonstration.

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