Sep 22, 2015 9:21 PM
A federal program is helping families protect their children from becoming victim to online predators. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is spear heading the program called iGuardian hoping to show kids the dangers of meeting strangers in cyber space.
"With every new technology that is out there, we need to be one step ahead of what's out there," said Danielle Bennett, ICE Public Affairs Officer.
With new social media apps popping up everywhere, kids can be easily manipulated.
"Not everybody out there is not who they say they are. Its pretty easy sometimes to get lured or trapped by predators that may cause children do things they do want to do," Bennett said.
That's why ICE along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created iGuardian program to combat this type of cyber crime through awareness.
"Education is a huge factor in solving this problem, and one of the ways we can do a big impact is going out there and encouraging parents talking to their children and encouraging children to be smarter online and preventing crime," Bennett said.
Within the last couple of years, Homeland Security special agents logged in nearly a million hours working on child explotation cases. Currently there's more than four thousand cases being investigated and they were able to identify more than 250 minors in the U.S. and worldwide that had been sexually exploited.
"That's why we do our guardian outreach. It's because we wanted to give children another avenue that you could come to us and law enforcement if someone is harassing you online there's ways to get out of it," Bennett said.
To request an iGuardian presentation at your school or organization, email email@example.com.
To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196) or visit the HSI Tip Line.