The Harrisonburg Police Department is a member of the Northern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and emphasizes the importance of families monitoring and reporting any online behavior that might put a child in danger. Prevention and reporting are the keys to keeping kids safe, and many different resources are available for parents and children on safe internet use.
Parents, #StartTheConversation today about internet safety with your children. Check out the organizations and resources linked on the national ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) website for some discussion starters!
The most important tool in preventing risky online behavior and identifying red flags is frequent discussion between parents/guardians and children about their online activity.
Check out this new Critical 3 Video from the National Criminal Justice Training Center on online and offline monitoring activity!
If you have an immediate concern regarding your child's safety or someone you know, please dial 911 or call the non-emergency number 540-434-4436.
If you have questions about internet safety or are seeking resources on internet safety, please contact Detective Greg Miller at 540-437-4404 or email Greg.Miller@harrisonburgva.gov.
Resources for Education and Prevention
Common Sense Media- Common Sense Media provides ratings and reviews on thousands of movies, television shows, and media websites, allowing parents and children to make informed decisions about the content they watch.
NOVA/DC Internet Crimes Against Children Parent Page- NOVA/DC ICAC provides resources for parents on keeping their children safe online and tips for communication on healthy internet habits.
Family Guide to Parental Controls- This guide from ConnectSafely explains the benefits of parental controls on your child's devices and how to determine what works best for your family.
Parents Guide to Sextortion- Instances of online sextortion in teens are on the rise. This guide from ConnectSafely provides resources to parents on what to do if their child falls victim to sextortion and how to #StartTheConversation about sextortion. Knowing how to respond after your child lets you know that this has taken place is just as important as talking with your children about prevention before it happens.
Netsmartz Tech Tips [244KB]- The first steps in protecting your children online are Connecting, Learning, and Engaging. Learn more about what that looks like here.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children- NCMEC is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.