Protecting the Innocent: A Prosecutor’s Guide to Internet Safety in the Digital Age
Internet Safety Month is a crucial reminder of the shared responsibility we have to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable members of society from digital dangers. As prosecutors, we frequently deal with internet crimes against children — a chilling reality of our connected world that demands urgent attention and preventative action.
The evolving nature of technology has led to the development of new and sophisticated methods of exploitation. From cyberbullying and sexting to the alarming increase in ‘sextortion’ cases, the risks to children online are multifaceted and ever-changing.
A secure digital space is a collective effort and each of us has a critical role to play. In our capacity as prosecutors, we must familiarize ourselves with the patterns and dynamics of internet crimes against children and proactively engage with preventive strategies.
Engage With the Digital Landscape
As a prosecutor dealing with such crimes, it is paramount to understand the digital platforms children use and the risks associated with them. Stay updated about popular apps, games, and social networking sites to better comprehend the potential risks they present.
Awareness is our first line of defense. Promote open dialogues with parents, educators, and the community about online threats. Encourage them to #StartTheConversation about internet safety with their children.
Collaborate and Connect
Work closely with local, national, and international entities focusing on preventing internet crimes against children. Share resources and learn from best practices to ensure the most effective response to these crimes.
For a deeper understanding and further resources, consider the following links:
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) — Internet Safety Month
- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) — Internet Safety Resources & #StartTheConversation Resources
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) — Online Exploitation Reporting & Internet Safety Resources
- Thorn Foundation — Parent Resources & Sextortion Resources
- Child Rescue Coalition — Parent and Youth resources
- Australian eSafety Commission — eSafety Resources
- Canadian Centre for Child Protection — General resources and important research
- Norwegian Kripos Politiet — Teen Sexting Video
- Europol — Online Grooming Video
Through our collective efforts this Internet Safety Month, let’s strive to make the online world safer for our children. Together, we can equip them with the knowledge they need to protect themselves and can ensure justice for those who become victims of internet crimes.