District Attorney

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Protecting Children Online

Dangers to Children Online                                                                             EN ESPAÑOL

There are many dangers that your child can encounter while surfing the Net or hanging out in chat rooms.  Some websites are offensive and threatening because of their content.  There are no rules that govern the Internet, so anyone can set up a website for any purpose.  Consequently, there are sites that:

  • Explain how to grow and process narcotics
  • Advocate hate or anarchy
  • Sell stolen goods
  • Show how to make fake ID's or manufacture counterfeit money
  • Elicits personal information for illegal purposes
  • Offer "get rich quick" schemes that put your family at financial risk

There are also bomb making sites and millions of pornographic sites.  Unfortunately, over 100,000 sites are involved in child pornography.  Almost any search of the Internet can lead to objectionable content.  Even the most innocent, legitimate topics can be related, or linked, to something offensive.  Chat rooms and newsgroups are available for every topic you can imagine.  Chat rooms are probably the most dangerous areas on the Internet.  There are may topics that appear safe for children and teens, but, in reality, they are not.  "Cyber-molesters" are not a new breed of offender.  They simply have a new medium to reach their prey -- the Internet.  They pose as other children and gain the confidence of their victims by chatting about the latest fashions, music, and celebrities.  Chat rooms can lead to private conversations, e-mails, instant messages, and photo exchanges.  If your children talk in chat rooms, chances are they are talking to strangers.