Web (Internet) Safety
Introduction To Safe Internet Surfing
The purpose of this section of Letsget.com
is to protect You and Your Children
during and after you use the Internet.
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F.B.I. Web Introduction
Dear Parent:

Our children are our Nation's most valuable asset. They represent the bright future of our country and hold our hopes for a better Nation. Our children are also the most vulnerable members of society. Protecting our children against the fear of crime, and from becoming victims of crime, must be a national priority.

Unfortunately, the same advances in computer and telecommunication technology that allow our children to reach out to new sources of knowledge and cultural experiences, are also leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and harm by computer-sex offenders.

I hope that the information at this web site (http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm) helps you to begin to understand the complexities of on-line child exploitation. Click "Brochure" to get more detailed FBI information.

Louis J. Freech, Director

Federal Bureau of Investigation

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Web (Internet) Safety Links

Safety Software
Real Life Story
Do's and Don'ts
Police Note Book
FBI Web Introduction
Quick Tips for Kids
Guidelines for Parents
Quick Tips for Parents
My Rules for Online Safety
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Meet A Guardian Cyberangel

Cyberangels.Org Home Page

This is an important site for everyone!

For kids, teens, parents, teachers, and Internet victims; for everyone that uses or is going to use the Internet of any age! This is the first site you should visit before you start using the Internet There are suggestions on selecting filters and finding safe sites. If you ever find yourself stalked on the Internet contact cyberangels.org for free assistance. See Readers Digest April 2000 article “Angels Online”

Let the Cyberangels introduce themselves at Welcome to who we are.
If you are new to the Internet check out Internet 101
or if you need information about the Internet come visit us.
Are you being stalked or harassed on the Internet? Let Cyberangels help...
Or if you want to help someone? Become a Cyberangel!
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Quick Tips for Parents

  1. Take the web journey together. Take the time to see what your kids are doing online and what their interests are.
  2. Teach kids never to give out their personal information to people they meet online especially in public places like chat rooms and bulletin boards.
  3. Instruct your child never to plan a face-to-face meeting alone with online acquaintances.
  4. Tell your child not to respond when they receive offensive or dangerous e-mail, chat, or other communications.
  5. Establish clear ground rules for Internet use for your kids. Decide whether or not to use parental control tools or protective software.
  6. Place your computer in the family room or another open area of your home. Or use the computer together at a library, school, or community center.


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Quick Tips for Kids

Remember, surfing the web safely and responsibly is in your hands. While online, follow your family’s rules for using the Internet and keep your parents up to date about your online activities. In the same way that you agreed with your parents to look both ways before crossing the street and to not get into a stranger’s car, you should agree to the following commonsense rules for online safety.


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Do's & Don'ts

An fun interactive site for parents and children to view together or individually to acquaint themselves with the potential dangers of using the Internet


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Police Workbook Web Site

The University of Oklahoma's Police Department pitches in with an award winning web site on "Safety on the Internet". Very well done! eyeballs


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Safety Software

At this web site you will find a list of where to find software that screens and blocks offensive, violent and pornographic web sites.

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Guidelines for Parents

(Print Guidelines for Parents)

By taking responsibility for your children’s online computer use, parents can greatly minimize any potential risks of being online. Make it a family rule to:

  1. Take the web journey together. Take the time to see what your kids are doing online and what their interests are.
  2. Teach kids to never to give out their personal identifying information such as: their - home address, school name, or telephone number - in a public message such as chat or bulletin boards (newsgroups).
  3. Think carefully before revealing any personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information.
  4. Do not post photographs of your children on web sites or newsgroups that are available to the public.
  5. Consider using a pseudonym, avoid listing your child’s name and E-mail address in any public directories and profiles, and find out about your ISP’s privacy policies and exercise your options for how your personal information may be used.
  6. Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. If you don’t know how to log on, get your child to show you.
  7. Have your child show you what he or she does online, and become familiar with all the things that you can do online.
  8. Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission.
  9. If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public place, and be sure to accompany your child.
  10. Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your children to tell you if they encounter such messages.
  11. If you or your child receives a message that is harassing, of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your ISP and Cyberangels.Org , and ask for their assistance.
  12. If someone sends you or your children messages or images that are obscene, lewd, filthy, or indecent with the intent to harass, abuse, annoy, or threaten, or if you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or www.missingkids.com
  13. Instruct your child not to click on any links that are contained in E-mail from persons they don’t know. Such links could lead to sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate web sites.
  14. Remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because you can’t see or even hear the person it would be easy for someone to misrepresent him- or herself. Thus, someone indicating that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could in reality be a 40-year-old man.
  15. Remember that everything you read online may not be true. Any offer that’s "too good to be true" probably is.
  16. Be very careful about any offers that involve you coming to a meeting, having someone visit your house, or sending money or credit card information.
  17. Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children (see "My Rules for Online Safety"). Discuss these rules and post them near the computer as a reminder.
  18. Remember to monitor your children’s compliance with these rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time your children spend on the computer. A childŐs excessive use of online services or the Internet, especially late at night, may be a clue that there is a potential problem.
  19. Remember that personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic baby-sitters.
  20. Decide whether or not to use parental control tools or protective software. Check out blocking, filtering, and ratings.
  21. Be sure to make this a family activity.
  22. Place your computer in the family room or another open area of your home. Or use the computer together at a library, school, or community center.
  23. Get to know their "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends.

(Print Guidelines for Parents)




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My Rules for Online Safety

(Print My Rules for Online Safety)

  1. I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parents’ permission.
  2. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  3. I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
  4. I will never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.
  5. I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service or cyber911.
  6. I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and appropriate areas for me to visit.
  7. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.



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Angels Online Special Report

Real Life Story

Taken from an article on Page 74 in the April 2000 magazine Readers Digest written by Hal Karp
For Reprints of this article "Angels Online" Contact Readers Digest At 800-289-6457 or go to their web site @ http://www.readersdigest.com
For Victims of Internet predators, these volunteers are an answered prayer

Even by the standards of most teenagers, Gary* (Not his real name) was an Internet whiz. By the time the youth turned 16 in 1997, he was adept at designing Web pages and had even “toured” his rock band across cyberspace. But Gary’s favorite Internet activity was simpler. He enjoyed “chat,” where people meet in virtual rooms for live conversations. Nightly at nine o’clock Gary went online to converse with strangers all over the planet. His sessions lasted hours. One night Gary received a private message on his screen from a woman named Terri: “Are you ticklish?” Thinking it was a prank, Gary typed back “Sure.” It was a reply he would regret sending.

Every night Gary went online, Terri was waiting for him. She claimed to be a college student in Boston, and her messages to him were about tickling and sex. Gary found her annoying and ignored her. One night, though, she shocked Gary by offering him money to videotape himself being tied up and tickled. Collecting the tapes was a hobby, she said.“Leave me alone,” Gary replied. She didn’t. “Where’s my video?” Terri demanded in a barrage of e-mails. One night she wrote, “Gary, I’ll be contacting your parents.” The boy watched as his address and phone number appeared on-screen. Frightened, he typed “LEAVE ME ALONE!” She didn’t. Next she attacked his web site, filling it with vulgar messages and threats. She “bombed” his e-mail addresses with over 30,000 messages, forcing his accounts to be closed for months. Terri even listed Gary as the owner of a web site she ran, which solicited tickling videos from 18-year-old boys. Gary received hate mail. Four months after Terri’s first message, the assault was escalating, and Gary was at his wits’ end. The virtual world he cherished was destroyed, his name was sullied. He felt powerless. Late one night he was discussing his situation with others in a chat room, when a message from another stranger popped on his screen: “I’m a CyberAngel I can help.” Gary hadn’t a clue what a CyberAngel was, but he had nothing to lose. “Okay, he replied. Gary’s CyberAngel wasted no time. That night, chatting online into the wee hours, Gary learned how to use his computer to track and research his stalker, even how to potentially locate Terri - online and in real life. The hunter was now the hunted. After counseling Gary, the CyberAngel vanished, leaving the boy wondering who’d helped him. He discovered the answer when he found the CyberAngels web site.

“NO GOING BACK” Gary had encountered one of the more than 1300 volunteers who have emerged from every walk of life - homemakers, accountants, artists and students - to join the world’s oldest and largest online safety organization. Together they patrol the Web around the clock, battling child pornography and trying to protect innocent people from stalkers, pedophiles and other cybercriminals. Working from home computers in more than 14 countries, most CyberAngels have never met face to face. Yet they form a global team that could only have been forged on the borderless Internet. Their leader is a New Jersey woman who embodies the group’s drive and spirit. In 1998 Parry Aftab was devoted to her job as a managing partner of an international law firm specializing in the Internet. Then a friend, who’d founded CyberAngels in 1995, told her the group’s executive director had departed. Aftab agreed to fill the post, but only on an interim basis. Days later someone sent Aftab the Internet address of a pedophile web-site showing a young girl being sexually abused. Seeing the girl’s visible suffering, Aftab wept. Then she removed “interim” from her title. “There was no going back,” says Aftab, who donates the majority of her waking hours to CyberAngels while practicing law part time. To her mind the most daunting challenge is that the World Wide Web is much like the Wild, Wild West: a new frontier that has few laws and fewer cops.

“That’s where we come in,” Aftab says. Often CyberAngels works with local and state police, the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the world to track online pedophiles and child pornographers. Last October, Aftab traveled to Japan to help police locate illegal child-pornography sites. The result: the first-ever arrests in Japan of alleged Internet child pornographers. But Aftab’s greatest concern today is the burgeoning crime that Gary fell prey to: cyberstalking. “Its the new threat of the Internet,” Aftab says. “And the laws to snare and prosecute these stalkers are either nonexistent or ineffective.” The National Center for Victims of Crime defines cyberstalking as any threatening behavior or unwanted advances online. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that tens or even hundreds of thousands of men, women and children may be cyberstalked each year in the United States.

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Who are these stalkers? Commonly they are kids who think harassing someone is a joke, or strangers who develop a romantic online obsession, or ex-lovers who use the Web for revenge. They may also be people who inexplicably set out to harm others. “Many cases wouldn’t occur if not for the Internet,’ says Aftab. “The Web seems to create a strange sense of security. They think they’re untouchable.” Often they can be. Most stalkers begin by harassing their victims through e-mail or instant messages. When their advances are rebuffed, stalkers who understand chat programs can easily know when their quarries sign on to the Net. Then, using innocuous screen names, they observe them online, gathering personal information from chat conversations and from sites visited. There are many instances in which cyberstalkers assume their victim’s identity to harass others online, or post sex ads online with a victim’s name, address, and phone number. In more severe incidents they send hidden programs via e-mail that give them access to a victims computer. The stalker then operates the computer by remote control, accessing personal e-mail and financial data. In worst-case scenarios online stalking becomes off-line terror. Documented cases include vandalism, assault, even murder. The most helpless moment for victims often comes when they realize law enforcement can offer little aid.

Because the Internet has grown so quickly - more than 90 million users in America alone - federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are still catching up with this new breed of criminal. Currently no federal cyberstalking law exists, and fewer than half of the states have laws to address it. Even where there are state laws, police often don’t or can’t help. “Most laws classify cyberstalking as a misdemeanor,” Aftab explains. “Let’s face it, if a person in one state cyberstalks someone in another state, how likely is it that police are going to cross state lines for a misdemeanor?” The dearth of cyberstalking laws often leaves CyberAngels resolving cases alone. Luckily, in most cases, says Aftab, a stalker disappears once stripped of his anonymity.

ON PATROL It was past midnight on a cold winter night last year when Kelly Beatty, 38 arrived home from her eight-hour nursing shift. After she visited with her husband, the mother of two in Ontario, Canada, went online to catch a cyberstalker. The victim was a Texas woman who was afraid to leave her home after her stalker wrote “I’m going to get you” He knew where she lived and had seized control of her computer. To prove this, he opened her CD-ROM drive be remote control as he threatened her on-screen. Beatty, CyberAngels’ deputy executive director, got involved when the victim wrote pleading for help. She investigated the case and learned the stalker’s online habits. This night she waited in his favorite chat room. He appeared in minutes. A few keystrokes later - and unbeknownst to the stalker - Beatty had located an exclusive nine-digit code disclosing his Internet-service provider (ISP). Then, using a special tracing program, Beatty discovered the ISP was based in Toronto. Furthermore, the ISP’s web site listed members’ home pages. The stalker had his own site, providing more than Beatty could hope for: his real name and address. “Gotcha,” Beatty muttered. She promptly e-mailed the perpetrator, telling him he was violating Canadian law and that his true identity was known. Then Beatty sent the stalker’s identifying data to the victim, with instructions for contacting law enforcement if the cyberstalking continued. This stalker, like so many others exposed, quickly retreated.

Snaring about four cyberstalkers a week, Beatty has helped over 500 victims. And she’s only one of more than 100 CyberAngels online at any given moment. “Few people understand the terror of being Cyberstalked,” says Beatty. She should know, having been cyberstalked four years ago before being aided by a CyberAngel The same goes for over 50 percent of the group’s cyberstalking team.

A NEW PURPOSE CyberAngel Lori McKinney was stalked online in 1996. The 32-year old free-lance photographer was shocked when a man she in a chat room located her phone number in Kansas and began calling and sending sexually explicit e-mails. Then one day he phoned, saying he had been watching her home. McKinney didn’t believe him until he described in detail her two-story Victorian. She called police for help, but they could do nothing. All she knew was the man’s screen name. With no protection against her stalker, McKinney lived in fear until she and her husband moved six months later. This past September, McKinney read about CyberAngels, and instantly recalled her feelings of helplessness. Realizing she could make a difference for someone else, she decided to become a member. Like all potential angels, she passed a criminal background check and took online classes that typically include courses on managing chat rooms, spotting predators and unmasking them through computer tracing. McKinney is now an operator for a CyberAngels chat room where people can find help when they need it. “To take something horrible that happened to me and turn it around in order to help others is a miracle,” McKinney says. “CyberAngels gave my life new purpose.” It has done the same for Gary, the youth stalked by “Terri.”

Using the skills his CyberAngel taught him, Gary traced Terri’s e-mail addresses and tracked down others she’d contacted. Soon the pieces of a bizarre puzzle began to fit together. He learned that Terri was not a female college student, but a man. Also, Gary’s tormentor had a reputation on the Web for Cyberstalking those who crossed him. One night Gary tracked Terri online and revealed what he knew. The harassment screeched to a halt. Then Gary chose to put his cybersleuthing abilities to good use - as a CyberAngel Just as before, every night the young man cranks up the volume on his stereo and goes online. But now his motive is beyond having fun. Gary knows the man who made his life hell is still out there, trolling the Web for unsuspecting victims. He also knows there are many more like his tormentor. Above all, he wants to prevent anyone else from suffering as he did. So when he spots abuse, he emerges from the ether of cyberspace - just like the angel who once helped him. For Reprints Of This April 2000 Article, Angels Online” Contact Readers Digest At 800-289-6457 or go to their web site @ http://www.readersdigest.com

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