Internet Safety

​Our office is committed to protecting our children from becoming victims of online crime. We want to protect kids from exploitation and abduction by Internet pComputer Cop DVD.jpgredators; we hope to increase the reporting of such criminal activity; and we strive to provide parents, guardians, and other responsible adults with resources to make our kids' online experiences safe, educational and fun. Using computer monitoring software is a personal family decision for parents and guardians. To help parents and guardians keep their children safe online, we are pleased to provide a free software monitoring tool called ComputerCop for their use and benefit in exercising computer and mobile phone safety.

 
ComputerCOP is a program that parents can install on a laptop or desktop computer to monitor their children’s Internet activity and look out for online threats such as cyber-bullying, gangs, drugs and predators. To obtain a copy of the software, visit any Virginia Beach Public Library. The program is intended for desktop and laptop computers rather than cell phones or tablets. The software was purchased with funds that were seized from criminal activity in Virginia Beach, at no cost to taxpayers.

Visit https://cyberbully.org/ and click the "Resources" tab for an extensive, up-to-date list of social media apps teens are using. This website also provides contact information for each individual app to report instances of cyberbullying. Visit the "Report Cyberbullying" page within the "Resources" tab to find this information.

Additionally, please review our Social Media brochure to learn about social media apps and ways parents can monitor their children's cell phone and tablet activity.​

NEW APP ALERT: Kiwi

Kiwi is a fast and easy way for users to ask and answer questions. Teens can chat with people they know or with random strangers.  You may have received an invitation to download the app through your Facebook account.  Users can post photos as well.  Parents should consider limiting children and teens’ use by filtering sensitive photos and videos and preventing public questions.  Because of the ability to be anonymous, this app can lead to cyber-bullying. There’s also the potential for profanity, crude humor, references to drugs and alcohol and sexual content.  Parents should closely monitor thi​s app and talk to their children about how to use Kiwi appropriately.

NEW APP ALERT: Wickr

Wickr allows users to exchange end-to-end encrypted and self-destructing messages, including photos, videos, and file attachments. Wickr features a file shredder which removes the messages stored on the recipient's device. Parents should be aware of the fact that teens may use this app to hide and send inappropriate text or photo messages. 

NEW APP ALERT: Tumblr

Tumblr is a social media app that allows users to post pictures and short blog posts. While this is a fun way for teens to communicate, there are potential dangers if parents aren't monitoring their teens' usage. It is difficult to create privacy settings, so teens often post everything publicly. This also opens up teens to becoming victims of scams and security issues. There is a large amount of adult content available on Tumblr, including pornography and other sexually explicit material. Child pornography has also been reported on Tumblr. Parents, remind your teens that everything they do online is traceable, and once something is online, it is nearly impossible to delete or take back. Remind teems that posting inappropriate material can get them in legal trouble, damage their reputation, and jeopardize their future.

NEW APP ALERT: Musical.ly

Musical.ly is a video karaoke app in which users can make videos of themselves lip-syncing and post them publicly. When a video is posted, anyone can "like," comment, or message in response to your child's post if his or her privacy settings are set to "public." This means that minors may inadvertently be sharing content with adult strangers. Musical.ly allows users to search for friends nearby and receive notifications when friends come online. The app may contain sexual content, drug references, and swear words. Also, while Musical.ly does not allow nudity, it is possible that your child may stumble upon it before it has been discovered and removed. Parents, if you allow your child to use this app, make sure you are screening their content, put privacy settings in place, and talk to them about not sharing personal info on their profile. 

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