Internet Exploitation of Children
The Maine Attorney General, the Department of Public Safety, and the Department of Education have partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to bring NetSmartz® to Maine to help protect children from online victimization. The goal of the NetSmartz Workshop is to extend the safety awareness of children to prevent victimization and increase self-confidence whenever they go online.
While the Internet provides children with an opportunity to learn about the world, it has also become a place where sexual predators prey on children. Approximately 1 in 5 kids online is sexually solicited but that less than 10 percent of sexual solicitations are reported to authorities. Reports to the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force of Internet child exploitation have increased dramatically in the last few years.
The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive Internet Safety resource that provides age-appropriate materials for grades K-12. The Workshop uses animation to teach younger kids rules for online safety and also offers real-life stories for teens. Parents, educators, and law enforcement officers can visit specialized areas on NetSmartz.org for Internet safety pledges, statistics, and ideas on how to use NetSmartz materials to open lines of communication about potential dangers on the Internet. NetSmartz is a program of the NCMEC and Boys & Girls Clubs of America and is available for free on www.NetSmartz.org.
Kids can visit www.NetSmartzKids.org with their parents and play games, complete activities, and listen to music. This is a kid friendly site and doesn’t link to any outside source.