What is the Cyber Tipline and How Does it Work?

- | 1 min read

Given how common teens sharing explicit images is today, families need to know how the Cyber Tipline can support them if their children’s explicit image is shared online. While we hope it will never happen, a little preparation can go a long way

The Cyber Tipline is part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). It has special analysts and technology that assist in the removal of images online. If images have been posted, there is no guarantee that they can ever be fully removed from the Internet, but the sooner steps are taken to remove them, the less time there is for them to spread and be saved on other servers around the world.

What happens when a tip is made?
NCMEC reviews every tip of explicit material or online enticement of a child that it receives. Staff try to determine a location of both the perpetrator and the victim, if unknown, and supply the incident report to the appropriate law-enforcement agency to pursue the case.

NCMEC also has technology to search online for the unique ID (called a “hash value”) that is attached to each image and report any instances for removal from the hosting site. This is why, it is important to make reports as soon as possible, even if you or your child feels embarrassed. The sooner NCMEC or law enforcement gets involved, the better the chance of limiting the damage and preventing it from following a child later in life.

Support for Victims and Families
Even when families report images quickly,  many still feel shame, stigma, and other difficult feelings after an image is shared. NCMEC has some great resources for victims and families, including the Team HOPE program that matches parents with trained volunteers who have had similar experiences in the past.

To read more about the Cyber Tipline, click here.

The Cyber Tipline Phone Number: 1-800-THE-LOST