Homeland Security Launches Cyber Safety Campaign to Protect Children

Published 03/26 2014 11:00PM

Updated 03/26 2014 11:11PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a few online sites that consume many young Americans' lives.

However, with those popular sites comes the dangers of online sexual predators.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to develop Project iGuardian.

"Through education and awareness, homeland security investigations aims to inform kids, as well as parents, of the dangers within the online environment," said Kim Speakman, Special Agent with Homeland Security.

Project iGuardian is a national cyber safety campaign that teaches young people to think before clicking links on the Internet.

"The world has been made so much smaller by the Internet," Julie Lucas, Principal at Fairmont Elementary in California.

Homeland security agents, and their law enforcement partners, visited schools across the nation as part of the campaign.

They provided children, and parents, with tips on how to avoid falling victim to online sexual predators.

"Our responsibility, I feel, to give parents every opportunity to know what's out there and the dangers that kids could face and how quickly things could change day to day on the Internet," said Lucas.

Last year, homeland security agents spent nearly a million hours working child sexual exploitation cases, and investigated more than 4,000 of those cases.

Lucas feels the campaign will give parents the information they need to make sure kids stay safe while surfing the web.

"We need to give our parents every opportunity to know what's out there, and how to continue to be in their lives. Not only physically present with their kids, but digitally present," said Lucas.

Organizations, and schools, interested in requesting an iGuardian presentation can visit this website, http://www.ice.gov/cyber-crimes/iguardian.htm.

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