The Internet, aside from being a powerful and beneficial tool, poses a number of dangers to kids, teens and ourselves. While the Internet is a dynamic, promising tool that allows users to cross boundaries once thought impossible and access a wealth of knowledge, there are many pitfalls and blind spots on the Internet that can easily facilitates illegal behavior because of this lack of limits, rules, and safety barriers. This is especially relevant to today’s youth who spend a good part of their lives in a virtual community where the rules are very different from the ‘real’ world.
In Broward County it can be estimated that while online:
- 1 in 4 children under 17 has been exposed to pornography.
- 1 in 5 children under 17 has received unwanted sexual solicitation.
- 1 in 33 kids have received an aggressive solicitation to meet somewhere face to face.
This means, in a classroom of 30 children:
- 1 in 4 = 7-8 students have been exposed to pornography
- 1 in 5 = 6 students received sexual solicitation
- 1 in 33 = 1 in each class was aggressively solicited to meet face to face
*Estimates based on NCMEC Statistics and state census figures.
As part of our violence prevention efforts, Office of Prevention is working to increase our community’s knowledge regarding Internet safety. Knowledge is the vital key to a safe and positive cyber environment. As much as we frequently fear our children are at danger while online, this is a universal issue and potential danger for ALL AGES. We LOVE the Internet, but if misused, can facilitate any of the following:
- Identity Theft
See also our related webpages on:
- Reality Avenue’s “Cyberlife – What’s REALLY happening online?”
- Violence Prevention Resources
“If it’s FREE, it’s for ME!”
We are constantly looking for new and better yet, FREE RESOURCES for teachers, parents and students. Please click here, then scroll down to view the FREE Resources PDF.
Resources and Links
Please Note: A program or website being mentioned here does not imply endorsement by the School Board of Broward County and does not necessarily reflect its views. Please contact the program developers directly for the most current information.
BEEP – for School District employees, the Discovery Health resource has innumerable videos, classroom exercises and lesson plans
Comprehensive Resource of internet Safety Tips: safety tips resource that is backed by statistical data to underscore the importance of each tip.
Florida Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse. As part of the MEPIC’s services, a toll-free telephone line (1-888-356-4774) is available twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. Additional services provided by the MEPIC include a directory of resources available for additional assistance in locating a child; emergency flyers requested by law enforcement agencies containing descriptors of missing children believed to be in immediate danger; training for law enforcement agencies and public/private organizations regarding the operations of the MEPIC; and a child safety guide which includes a list of precautions which outlines programs to insure our children’s safety.
iKeepSafe.org Teaches basic rules of Internet safety to children and parents, reaching them online and in school
i-SAFE, Internet Safety Awareness and Education: free to Broward County employees
Know Where they Go: PSAs alert parents to the risk of online sexual exploitation, the other targets potential online predators, warning them of the serious criminal penalties awaiting those who victimize children. Produced collaboratively by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Hispanic Communications Network, and the Internet child safety organizations I Know Better and iKeepSafe.
NetSmartz 411 Parents’ and guardians’ premier, online resource for answering questions about Internet safety, computers, and the Web
SafeFlorida.net, a Florida website dedicated to fighting CyberCrime and supporting CyberSafety.
WebWiseKids.org Teaches children and their caregivers strategies for safe Internet use, including methods of detecting and deterring online predators
xblock.isafe.org The place created by iSafe for students to hang out, learn about cyber safety and share their online experiences with others