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Resources
Online safety Web sites
Kids and the Internet
Spam links
Definitions


Resources

Federal initiatives

  1. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center
  2. Federal Trade Commission
  3. FBI SOS: Safe Online Surfing

Resources for parents and kids

Computer Crime (United States Department of Justice)

Law Enforcement Issues in Cyberspace

  1. Cyberstalking (The National Center for Victims of Crime)
  2. Electronic Evidence and Searching and Seizure (United States Department of Justice)
  3. Hate Crime (Anti-Defamation League)
  4. Intellectual Property (United States Department of Justice)

Reporting online crime

U.S. Department of Justice

Resources for law enforcement

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Online safety Web sites

  • BlogSafety.com:  BlogSafety.com is an informational resource and forum about keeping safe on the social web. In addition to articles and tips, it features an interactive forum where parents, teens and others can ask and answer each other's question. The forum is staffed by experts who make sure that all questions are answered with accurate up-to-date information.
  • Cyberbully.org:  Cyberbullying is sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices. Cyberbully.org is provided by the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, http://csriu.org/. CSRUI provides resources for educators and others to promote the safe and responsible use of the Internet.
  • Families Online Magazine:  Parenting advice and family fun resource. It includes expert parenting advice for babes to teens from doctors, teachers, psychologists, nutritionists, nanny and special need children, child safety and child development specialists. Family Fun includes crafts, games, party ideas and family vacation travel. Families Online Magazine also provides answers to those important questions: What's for dinner, and Are we there yet?
  • LOOKBOTHWAYS:  This is a useful informational site run by internationally recognized Internet safety and technology expert Linda Criddle. It includes information on staying safe in various online services, blogs on current safety topics, a Safety in the News page with today’s stories about privacy and safety online and an Ask Linda feature where you can ask questions about safety issues.
  • WiredSafety:  Run by Internet lawyer Parry Aftab, this site provides useful information for parents, educators, law enforcement, and includes a section on women’s issues. The site offers tutorials and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about online safety.

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Kids and the Internet

The following are resources that we have found helpful. Although this is not an exhaustive list of resources, we consider these to be leaders in promoting Internet safety.

  • Cyberbullying.us:  a central repository and information clearinghouse for the phenomenon of cyberbullying. To note, cyberbullying is also called "cyber bullying," "electronic bullying," "e-bullying," "sms bullying," "mobile bullying," "online bullying," "digital bullying," or "Internet bullying." We define cyberbullying as "willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices."
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — The FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children jointly published the Parents Guide to Online Safety. The guide was prepared from actual investigations involving child victims, as well as investigations where law enforcement officers posed as children. The site features a cyber tip line.
  • Internet and Your Child — This program was developed by a Seattle Police Detective who saw too many avoidable cases of children being victimized on line. She believed if parents were taught some basic computer navigation and savvy, they would better understand their children’s activities on line. This free class is a seven-hour lecture and hands-on program designed to deal with all aspects of computer use, ethics and crime. Classes are led by certified volunteer law enforcement officers and computer professionals. Request an Internet and Your Child class in your community.
  • Internet Crimes Against Children Research Center — The mission of the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) is to combat crimes against children by providing high quality research and statistics to the public, policy makers, law enforcement personnel, and other child welfare practitioners. CCRC is concerned with research about the nature of crimes including child abduction, homicide, rape, assault, and physical and sexual abuse as well as their impact.
  • Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) -- Governors and and first spouses formed this coalition in partnership with crime prevention organizations, law enforcement, foundation and corporate sponsors. It teaches basic rules of Internet safety to children and parents.
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) — The private, nonprofit National Center for Missing & Exploited Children serves as a focal point in providing assistance to parents, children, law enforcement, schools, and the community in recovering missing children and raising public awareness about ways to help prevent child abduction, molestation, and sexual exploitation. Report suspected exploitation of a child or contact from an online predator to NCMEC at: or 1-800-843-5678.
  • NetSmartz — The NetSmartz Workshop was created by the National center for Missing & Exploited Children in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and uses computer-based, interactive games and activities to teach students ages 5-17 how to be safer when using the Internet.

If you have suggestions for other non-profit organizations that we should include, please e-mail the link and a description of the site to: webmaster@ago.wa.gov

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Spam links

National:

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (CAUCE)
http://spam.abuse.net

File a complaint with the:

Attorney General's Office
FTC

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Technology definitions

  • Adware - A form malicious code that displays unsolicited advertising on your computer. Typically, adware gets installed when you browse or download from a shareware or freeware application. These stealth downloads bring targeted advertisements to your computer that can seriously impact the performance of your computer.
  • Blog –A diary or personal journal kept on a Web site, usually updated frequently that may be private or may be intended for public viewing
  • Browser Helper Object (BHO) - A Browser Helper Object (BHO) may look like a useful browser toolbar available in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). However, malicious BHO's may change your default home page to point to some other site, or they may sell you’re your web-browsing history and information about your online habits to third-parties for the purposes of targeted advertising. 
  • Chat room – An online site used for social interaction usually based on a topic or theme where people with shared interests can meet others.
  • Content filtering - Allows you to block certain types of content from displaying certain websites that you know you don’t want your children to see. Many software programs allow you to block out information that you find inappropriate or offensive. Some of the things you can screen for include coarse language, nudity, sex and violence. 
  • Cyberbully, cyber bullies, cyberbullying – Bulling that occurs online. This type of bullying can be particularly damaging because it can occur 7x24. It may be bullying over a cell phone through a threatening call, or text message or a humiliating or threatening image. It may be a ‘fake’ blog that is created to embarrass the victim, or through other online posts.
  • Cyber crime -  Criminal activity that targets computers or information or leverages computers and online information to find real world victims.
  • Cyber criminals – Those who commit cyber crimes
  • Cyber sex – Also called ‘computer sex’, ‘net sex’, ‘hot chat’, etc. refers to virtual sexual encounters in which two or more persons stimulate each other through text, images, voice, and video.
  • Dialers - This is software that is installed on your PC that dials a phone number. Some dialers connect to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are designed to provide genuine assistance. However, malicious dialers can attempt to connect you to long-distance or toll numbers without your consent, resulting in expensive phone bills.
  • Download - Transfer material from a server or remote computer to your PC/mobile device/game console etc.
  • E-mail Signatures – this is a block of text added at the end of e-mails – usually automatically. It often contains your full name, possibly your job description, location, phone number, an inspirational thought etc.
  • File sharing - Refers to the ability to store files either in a central place that can be shared with as few as one other person, or publicly. Files could be stored on the Internet, or on any computer that provides access to others. File sharing allows others who have permission to access the shared file to modify or down load it.
  • Freeware – This is software that is owned and copyrighted, but that the owner is giving away for free. This may be entirely benevolent or it may be intentionally created and distributed to mask the malicious code bundled with it to spread on computers.  
  • Game console - A machine that is specifically designed for playing video games - (though they may also play movies, etc.) often these are hooked up to a TV or computer screen for viewing. Not all game consoles are capable of Internet connections, or are connected to the Internet, but if they are connected they allow users to play games with others remotely.
  • Grooming – In this context, it means the systematic way that sexual predators manipulate their victims into trusting them, depending on them, and ultimately meeting them in order to sexually abuse them.  Grooming usually involves sympathy, subtle ways to alienate the victim from others and flattery. It may also involve money, gifts or promises of work- especially “modeling jobs”. This may occur over only a few days, or may happen over an extended period of time.
  • Identity theft – Stealing someone’s identity in order to impersonate them, usually for financial gain. Identity theft may also be involved in abusing identity for other purposes – to ‘give’ your identity to someone else like an illegal alien, to steal your photos and reuse them for other purposes, to abuse your reputation, etc.
  • Key stroke logging - This can be a legitimate method for software developers to understand what is happening as they write code. It can also be used to track all the activities a user performs while online for other purposes - either monitoring or spying (depending on your point of view) on what people type and where they go online. These may be downloaded by the parent to watch their children, by children to watch their parents, by one adult to watch another adult, or downloaded onto your PC in stealth by malicious cyber criminals who then have the information collected from your online activities sent to them so that they learn your passwords and banking information.
  • Layered Service Provider (LSP) - LSPs refers to code that is inserted between your computer and the Internet application connecting to your computer – for example your Internet Browser. Malicious LSPs are used to steal information that you submit through the Internet.
  • Malware - stands for Malicious software and is an umbrella term that includes any type of harmful code - "trojans", "worms", "spyware", "adware", etc that infiltrate a computer without consent of the computer user and are designed to damage the computer, collect information, or allow your computer to be subverted and used remotely to send spam.
  • Peer-to-peer - refers to the ability to share files over the Internet directly from one Internet-enabled device to another (computer, mobile phone, etc). This sharing may violate copyright laws if the people involved are making copies of material without the permission to do so.
  • Persona – in this context, a persona is the person a user chooses to appear to be – rather than the person they are. For example: a 56 yr. old man may assume the persona of a 12 year old girl who wants to meet other 12 year old girls or a gamer may assume the persona of a warrior to play an online game.
  • Posting information – To upload information to the Web.
  • Predator – Anyone who preys on others. Often this is narrowly associated with sexual predators, but any online predator trying to exploit computers, or users, financially, physically or emotionally is a predator/cybercriminal.
  • Scam – to con, cheat, trick, swindle, sting, or rip-off others.
  • Shareware - Shareware is method of product advertising that let's you ‘try before you buy’. This type of software can be downloaded from the Internet or may be distributed on CD/DVD and can be used free of charge. If you find the product useful you are supposed to buy it, using an honor system. Be sure that you are dealing with reputable companies that will not stealthily download other programs (malware) onto your computer at the same time as you download the shareware.
  • Social networking - Refers to a category of Internet applications to help connect friends, business partners, or other individuals using a variety of tools
  • Spam - Unsolicited e-mail attempting to sell you something. Also known as junk mail.
  • Spyware - Stealthy software that leverages your Internet connection to collect information about you without your knowledge or consent. Like adware, spyware is often installed when you download ‘freeware’ or ‘shareware’ programs. Spyware may be looking for your banking information, personal information, etc., and is illegal and pervasive.
  • Text messaging - Is a method of sending short messages (also called SMSes, txts, or texting ) between mobile phones, other computing devices, and even some landline phones.
  • Tracking Cookies - Internet browsers write and read cookies, which are small text files with small amounts of data (such as Web site settings) which are placed onto your computer when you visit certain Web sites. In many cases, cookies provide a benefit to users as they can retain settings so that when you next visit a Web site, it recognizes you and your buying preferences. In some instances, however, cookies are used to consolidate and track your behavior across different Web sites, providing marketers with information about your Web browsing habits.
  • Trojans - Like spyware, Trojans (also known as Trojan horses) are programs that can be installed on your system and run without your knowledge. They are capable of a variety of functions. For example, some use your computer's modem to dial long-distance or toll numbers (like a dialer), potentially generating expensive phone bills. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not replicate themselves.
  • URL – (Uniform Resource Locator) refers to a unique Internet address of a file or Web destination. To find a particular site or document you type the URL into your browser window and the browser will open up that particular document or site.

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