EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The Child Exploitation Investigations Unit at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) reminds families of its iGuardian webpage to keep children safe while using the internet.
“Currently, thousands of children around the world are experiencing a new form of education with greater internet usage, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted traditional classroom settings to virtual instruction,” said Matt Wright, chief of HSI’s Child Exploitation Investigations Unit in a release. “Increased presence online means children are at an even greater risk of encountering cyber predators who know how to exploit their vulnerabilities.”
The project is an outreach effort to share information about the dangers of online environments, how to stay safe online, and how to report abuse and suspicious activity, according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
DHS shares tips for parents and guardians to help educate and protect children online by doing the following:
- Review and approve games and apps before they are downloaded.
- Make sure privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible for online gaming systems and electronic devices.
- Monitor your children’s use of the internet; keep electronic devices in an open, common room of the house.
- Check your children’s profiles and what they post online.
- Explain to your children that images posted online will be permanently on the internet.
- Make sure children know that anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online should be reported to a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult, as well as law enforcement.
To report suspicious activity or instances of child sexual exploitation, contact your local law enforcement agency, or on their website at https://www.ice.gov/tipline.