Protecting children is a key priority of the Attorney General's Office. And the Internet, for all its value, is also a place where predators look for ways to exploit and harm children.
Federal law makes it a crime for pedophiles to "lure" children over the Internet or knowingly send pornography to children.
While social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and chat rooms allow young people to stay in touch, plan events and get the latest gossip, they can also lead to trouble. Many teens use these sites to post pictures and personal information. They use blogs as their personal diaries which the world can see. Unfortunately, sexual predators are lurking on the Internet. Even the smartest teens may not realize that everyone with Internet access, including predators, can see the pictures and personal information they post and use them for sinister purposes.
Cyberbullying is another hazard on social networking sites. Some young people use Web sites, cell phones, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogs and other cyberspace options to harass, threaten and ridicule. What may start as a joke, once launched into cyberspace, can be very serious. The impact on the victim can be devastating and even tragic. The bully may have committed a crime, exposed their parents to liability and/or damaged their own prospects for college or a job.
There are many things parents can do to protect their children and reduce online risks. Please also visit azag.gov and the Attorney General’s Facebook page for updated tips about Internet safety.