The United States Attorney’s Office wants to help protect students from a variety of hazards they face online. We know that 93% of teenagers are online and more than 80% of students as young as five years old use the Internet at least once a week. Three out of four teenagers have cell phones, and, on average, they send and receive 1,500 text messages a month. In addition, 73% of teenagers have profiles on social networking sites where 47% have uploaded photographs and 14% have posted videos.
The Department of Justice is committed to the safety and well-being of our children and has placed a high priority on protecting and combating sexual exploitation of minors, including from online predators, with prevention and deterrence efforts.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), approximately one in three teens have experienced online harassment. One in 25 youth receives an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tries to make offline contact. And in more than one-quarter of such incidents, the children are asked for sexual photographs. Unfortunately, it is not just middle-school or high-school-aged students who are at risk, but children in elementary school as well. As of July 2013, the CyberTipline has received more than 1.9 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation since it was launched in 1998. NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 90 million child pornography images since it was created in 2002.
We hope that the documents and links listed below will help initiate family and educator discussions about Internet safety with Minnesota's children, so that every child in Minnesota will be better protected from online predators.