The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recently shared some alarming statistics: Reports of online enticement from January – September 2020 saw a 98.66% increase over from the same period in 2019 (from 15,220 to 30,236). Similarly, reports to the Cyber Tipline in January – September 2020 saw a 63.31% increase over 2019 (from 11,286,674 to 18,432,495).
While statewide statistics are still hard to obtain, in New Jersey, reports to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force have increased 75% this year from the same period of January – October in 2019.
Internationally, a report released in October by Europol’s Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment echoes what has been seen in the United States: the volume of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) uploaded and shared, the frequency of predators’ attempts to make online contact with children, and reports of online abuse from the public have all increased. The report also shares concerns around increasing amounts of self-produced child sexual abuse material.
As a parent, grandparent or caregiver, those statistics can be overwhelming. You want the best for the kids in your life and often resist the urge to “pull the plug” on all the technology that comes into your home. There are tools to help you manage the technology in your home, and there are age-appropriate best practices you can use to navigate the technology you give to your kindergartener and to you teenager.
At No More Stolen Childhoods, we are continuing to raise parental awareness by offering a series of webinars for parents to better understand online safety for kids, tweens, and teens. These free sessions focus on online safety tips and tools for parents and caregivers. Participants will learn best practices for managing and monitoring how your kids interact with technology, and there will be discussion of boundary setting and using available tools that are appropriate to the age of the child.
To learn more, see registration dates, and sign-up for either Keeping Your Kids Safe Online or Keeping Your Tweens and Teens Safe Online, click here or visit the Trainings tab on our website.