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     It is the mission of the St. Louis County Police Department to serve and protect all of its citizens.  The children of our community are our future.  With more computers and the Internet more prevalent in our society, the risks associated with them may also increase.


     The Internet can be both an educational and enjoyable experience for our youth, however, the potential for dangerous consequences exists if its use by children is not properly monitored.  Included in this article are helpful tips and warning signs to make your family's Internet experience safer as you travel the information highway.



  • Your child spends large amounts of time on-line.

  • You find pornography, private e-mail and chats on your computer.

  • Your child receives anonymous calls from unknown people.

  • You find suspicious long distance phone calls on your telephone bills.

  • You find unknown phone numbers on your cellular phone.

  • Your child talks more about on-line friends than real friends.

  • Your child receives gifts, letters, or packages from unknown people.

  • Your child quickly turns off his/her computer monitor when  you approach.

  • Your child becomes withdrawn.

  • You find your child using someone else's on-line account.

  • You find hidden e-mail/chat accounts on the computer.



  • Talk to your child - teach him/her the dangers.

  • Set clear limits for on-line time and monitor use.

  • Encourage your child to talk to you about what he/she is doing on-line and share he on-line experience.

  • Keep your computer in a common area.  Do not allow your child o use the computer in the privacy of his/her room.

  • Review the contents of your child's computer regularly.

  • Control all passwords to e-mail, chat areas, and computer log-on.  Do not allow your child to keep these secret.

  • Learn - Learn -Learn!  Educate yourself.  This is a must to protect your child.

  • Seek out information on blocking, filtering, and rating software.  Set parental software controls to determine what your child can access and to limit who can access them.

  • Contact your local or federal law enforcement officer if you suspect anything is wrong.

  • Be aware of your child's computer usage outside the home (school, friend's house, library, etc)

  • Monitor text messaging on cell phones.


  • NEVER go to private chat rooms with people you don't know.

  • NEVER meet face-to-face with anyone you meet on-line!  You never know who you are really meeting.

  • NEVER give out your name, address, or telephone number.

  • NEVER open or respond to e-mail or pictures from people you don't know.  They could contain unwanted pictures or viruses.


     Remember the Internet can be educational and fun.  However, it can be very dangerous, as well.  You never know who is on the other end of the computer.  It can be anybody pretending to be young, your friend, or anyone they want to be. 




For more information on keeping your child safe:

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