Thursday, June 17, 2010

FDLE Recognizes June as National Internet Safety Month

FDLE NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 17, 2010

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) joins the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and SecureFlorida.org in recognizing June as National Internet Safety Month. Floridians are encouraged to educate themselves about Internet safety and review tips for keeping children safe online.

“Online safety is important year round,” said Special Agent Supervisor Mike Phillips of FDLE’s Computer Crime Center. “Adults and children should be aware of the potential dangers in cyberspace and take steps to protect their information and themselves against cyber stalking, identity theft, and sexual exploitation.”

Parents are encouraged to discuss the dangers of the Internet with their children and develop guidelines for using it safely. Some helpful tips include:

* Teach children what personal information is and how to keep it private
* Help children find information online. By searching the Internet together you help them find reliable sources of information and distinguish fact from fiction
* Encourage children to tell you when they encounter problems online

FDLE recommends Floridians visit www.secureflorida.org or www.missingkids.com to learn how to minimize the potential risks of instant messaging, social networking, online gaming, and more. Citizens may also go to www.flsexoffender.net to search an e-mail or instant message address to determine if it may belong to a registered sexual predator or offender. Florida’s Sexual Offender/Predator Registry is maintained by FDLE and currently houses data on more than 54,000 registered sex offenders and predators. Florida law requires all registered sexual offenders and predators to register their e-mail and instant message addresses prior to using them. Additional tips for keeping children safe online may be found at http://www.netsmartz.org/.

In 2009, the Florida Computer Crime Center (FC3) worked 80 major investigations, made 38 arrests, managed 1,096 requests for assistance and provided computer crime investigation training to 291 law enforcement personnel. In addition, FC3 provided Internet safety training to more than 1,800 parents and children.

FDLE is an active member of the three Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in Florida. There are 59 federally-funded task forces nationwide created solely to investigate Internet crimes against children that include the online sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001


Source: Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Office of Public Information
www.fdle.state.fl.us