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,
www.pedowatch.org, and the National
Center for Missing and Exploited
Children, www.ncmec.org, 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
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
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
Nine Important Steps
to Internet Safety and
Protecting Our Children
Nine Important Steps
To Internet Safety
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
educated about the
computer and the Internet.
In order to protect
must learn how to use
the computer. For
information on Internet
classes, contact area
libraries and universities. Also explore
Do not use the
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
Set and discuss
rules for using
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 www.getnetwise.org
of the dangers
of the Internet
and explain that
these rules are for
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
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
• 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.
interest in the
activities that their
children are participating
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
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
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.
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
• 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:
Westchester Library System offers a wealth of
information on its web site for children and
www.getnetwise.org Provides an online safety
guide, and a large search engine, for child protection
tools and includes information on filtering,
monitoring software and hardware.
www.8e6technologies.com An online filtering
company providing products and services for
safe Internet use.
www.ncmec.org National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children's home
www.pedowatch.org Monitoring activities to
protect children from being exploited online.
The Federal Trade Commission's web page,
with online privacy information for children.
www.masterteacher.com/index.html A Web site
dedicated to the education of teachers, administrators
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.