Seth Coburn | Oct 12, 2020 AT 5:07 pm
(KNSI) – With many children returning to distance learning, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says it has witnessed dramatic increases in reports of child sexual exploitation to their national tip line.
To combat this increase, the Stearns County Sheriff’s department is joining forces with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the White House for Safety Pledge, a new campaign aimed at keeping children safe when they are online. The campaign provides free resources to parents, educators, and caregivers to help them understand more about risks faced by children online, and what they can do to help limit those risks.
The Pledge gives parents and caregivers several online tips to make a child’s online experience safer. These tips include regularly checking your child’s online contacts and activities, checking the age-appropriateness features on your child’s devices to keep them from going to websites meant for older kids or adults, and simply being a good digital role model for your kids by following the same rules you set for them. You can also download a free safety kit to help you lower the odds of your child becoming a victim of online predators.
In 2019, the Stearns County Sheriff’s department became one of just four Minnesota patrol divisions to be certified by the NCMEC for their response to missing, abducted, and sexually exploited children through the Missing Kids Readiness Program. Joining in the Safety Pledge continues their commitment to keeping our children safe.
To learn more about the program or to sign up and Take the Pledge to protect children online, click here.