Keeping it Safe - Westchester County District Attorney

Keeping it Safe - Westchester County District Attorney




White Plains, NY

Permit NO. 5432

What to do if

a child is harassed:

11. Inform your local police or

District Attorney's Office of the offense.

Call the Westchester County District

Attorney's High Technology Crimes

Bureau at (914) 995-3460 and the

Westchester County District Attorney's

Child Abuse Bureau at (914) 995-3000;

2. Contact your Internet provider;

3. Contact child protection


organizations such as Pedowatch,, and the National

Center for Missing and Exploited

Children,, which are

dedicated to protecting children.

What to do if an offense occurs online:

Anyone, whether student or school official,

who receives an Internet communication that

threatens school violence should: 1) Record

the message onto their computer hard drive

or diskette; 2) print out the message and

3) notify their local police immediately. If

the message is an Instant Message (IM)

exchange and it seems possible to keep the

conversation continuing, do so while calling

the police and recording the conversation on

your computer.

There are several ways to record IM.

AOL permits a session log to be turned on

so you may record everything that happens

online. Otherwise, you can cut and paste

text to save the conversation as a

text file on your computer.

For Parents: clip and save

For Kids: clip and save

For kids


Three Rules to Keep it Safe

1. NEVER reveal your name, address,

or Social Security number or any other

personal information online.

2. NEVER forget that people you meet

online are strangers.






Michaelian Office Building • White Plains, New York 10601

Andrew J. Spano Janet DiFiore

County Executive District Attorney


It Safe...

Nine Important Steps

to Internet Safety and

Protecting Our Children


it Safe

Nine Important Steps

To Internet Safety

and Protecting







3. NEVER hesitate to ask your parents

for help in an uncomfortable situation.

Andrew J. Spano, County Executive

Janet DiFiore, District Attorney

Keeping it Safe Nine Important Steps to Internet Safety and Protecting Our Children

We can all use

some help when it

comes to Internet

safety tips:


educated about the

computer and the Internet.


In order to protect

children, parents

must learn how to use

the computer. For

information on Internet

classes, contact area

libraries and universities. Also explore


Do not use the

computer as

a babysitter.

Don’t leave your child alone at the computer

for long periods of time. The computer

can be used for recreation as well

as education, but children need adult

supervision. Young children should not

be allowed to use the Internet without a

parent present. Also, make use of the

child protective options many Internet

service providers offer. Keep the computer

in an open area of your household.

Parents should be able to see the screen

and check up on their children while

they use the computer. Don’t set the

computer up in a young

child's room.


Set and discuss

rules for using

the household


Decide how much time your child can

spend online. Make clear what sites

and activities are acceptable. Consider

installing time-limiting and/or filtering

and monitoring software to help

enforce these rules. Find software and

hardware like this at



Inform children

of the dangers

of the Internet

and explain that

these rules are for

their protection.

Teach your children to never reveal

personal information about themselves

while online. Children must also be

wary of people they may come into

contact with, or “chat” with, online.

They must treat the strangers with the

same caution as strangers they meet in

the “real world.” Children should

also be told that people they meet

online might not be who they say

they are.

Treat Cyberspace like the real world.

IT IS IMPERATIVE for children to

know they must leave any situation

that makes them uncomfortable in

any way, and that they should always

report the incident and ask for

parental assistance.

• Children should never reveal

identifying information: Tell your

child to never give out his/her real

name, phone number, address,

Social Security number, or any

other information that could be

used to find or exploit them.

• Teach your child that they should

never agree to meet anyone in person

whom they have met on the Internet.

If anyone asks to meet them in person,

they should tell you right away. Any

meetings arranged via the Internet

should only take place with parental


• Let children know that if

someone is harassing them they are

not required to respond. Tell your

child to let someone know -- a parent,

teacher, or other trusted adult -- if

they have been harassed or sent

offensive material while online.



should show

interest in the

activities that their

children are participating

in online.

Ask about the Internet sites they go to

and the people that they talk to online.

Show as much interest in

your child's "e-pals" as

you do their other




the browser

history on your


Regularly check the sites that your

child has visited. For example, with

Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape

you can click the history tab and see a

list of the sites that have been visited.

Discuss any sites you find that

are unsuitable and should not be





files on



You can tell what programs

and files your children

have downloaded by

checking the directory

that programs are downloaded

into. Review the content

of files that you don't recognize

as your own.


Teens ARE

targets and

YOU can help.

Teens are more likely to

explore “out of the way places”

on the Internet often reaching out

to people not in their immediate

group of friends. Because they

are older, the “child proofing”

that exists may not be very


• Be open with your teenagers and

explain the dangers that exist.

• Continue to show interest in

their activities.

• If your child tells you about

a site they found or a person who

contacted them, be careful how

you respond: Make sure your

child does not feel responsible for

coming into contact with offensive

material or people. This will help

your child feel comfortable to

bring similar information to your

attention if it happens again.

Parents need to learn how to USE the PC before they

can successfully MONITOR one! Great training is

offered in the form of short courses at your library or

local, community-based organizations.


Stay smart and

surf these sites to

keep it safe for kids.

Take advantage of the important information

available to you on the Internet: The

Westchester Library System offers a wealth of

information on its web site for children and

adults. Provides an online safety

guide, and a large search engine, for child protection

tools and includes information on filtering,

time-limiting, and

monitoring software and hardware. An online filtering

company providing products and services for

safe Internet use. National Center

for Missing and Exploited Children's home

page. Monitoring activities to

protect children from being exploited online.

The Federal Trade Commission's web page,

with online privacy information for children. A Web site

dedicated to the education of teachers, administrators

and parents.

An Internet alliance, between major

companies, such as America Online, AT&T,

CompuServe, Microsoft, NETCOM and

Bell Atlantic, which is working to

educate consumers about online safety.

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