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February 11, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL HIGHLIGHTS SAFER INTERNET DAY

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today recognized 2020 Safer Internet Day and offered advice to parents and educators to help students practice safe online habits, including setting up online profiles and safely accepting online friend and follower requests.

As part of this year’s Safer Internet Day theme, “Together for a Better Internet,” Raoul urged parents and educators to help children and teens be aware of their online activity, who they interact with online, and how much information they share about themselves. Raoul encouraged parents and educators to talk to children and teens about their online followers and posts, and promote safety and respect on the internet. Families and educators can learn about safe online habits on Raoul’s website.

“It is important that parents, grandparents and guardians have ongoing conversations with children and teens about their online presence and interactions,” Raoul said. “The internet is not anonymous, and posts never truly disappear. Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to help young people adopt smart online habits.”

Raoul reminded children and teens that they should not accept any online follower requests from individuals they do not know offline. Attorney General Raoul encouraged students to ask themselves the following before accepting a friend or follower request:

  • Do I know this person face to face?
  • Can I verify this person is who they say they are?
  • Do I like what I see posted on their profile?
  • Is their profile set to private?
  • Am I okay with their friends and followers seeing what I post?
  • Do I know they will treat me with respect?
  • Would my parents or guardian approve of this person?

Raoul also reminded parents, guardians and students that information online can quickly spread and encouraged them to ensure that personal information is protected. Children and teens should beware of how much personal information they are revealing while setting up a new account, especially since some of the requested information is optional. Raoul also offered tips for creating a safe and secure online profile:

  • Receive permission from a parent or guardian before creating an online account or profile.
  • Review the Terms of Service, and make sure the person using the account meet’s the site’s age requirements and understands the site’s rules.
  • Create a username that does include personal information.
  • Create a strong password (using upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols).
  • Enable privacy settings.
  • Review geolocation settings to ensure you are not sharing your location with others.
  • Review profile content to ensure it is appropriate to post online.

Attorney General Raoul’s office provides training to students, teachers, parents and law enforcement authorities across the state as part of his work leading the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains local law enforcement agencies statewide to investigate these crimes. The Attorney General’s ICAC task force has been involved in more than 1,680 arrests of sexual predators; provided internet safety training and education to more than 936,670 parents, teachers and students; and trained more than 22,595 law enforcement professionals to investigate and prosecute internet crimes.

For more information or to schedule a digital safety presentation for your school or local organization, please visit Raoul’s website or contact the Attorney General’s Internet Safety Specialists at e-info@atg.state.il.us.

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