Most children in Texas have cell phones these days. And while this can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can also be a way for strangers to contact and threaten your child. It is important to talk to your kids about internet safety, especially if they are using a cell phone. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe:
- Teach your child never to give out personal information such as their name, address, or school name to anyone online or on the phone.
- Help them understand that people they meet online may not be who they say they are. urge them not to respond to messages from strangers.
- Remind them that it’s never okay for someone to make them feel scared or uncomfortable, whether it’s in person, online, or on the phone. If this happens, they should tell you right away so you can help them deal with it.
- Help them choose strong passwords for their online accounts, and remind them never to share those passwords with anyone.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your child so they feel comfortable coming to you with any concerns about their online activity or interactions with others.
Threats to the Kids by Phone and Internet
There have been several reports of children receiving threatening phone calls and text messages from unknown numbers. In some cases, the caller or texter has claimed to be a kidnapper or sexual predator. In other cases, they’ve made threats of violence against the child or their family.
If your child receives any kind of threatening phone call or text message, it’s important to take it seriously and contact the police right away. Even if you don’t think the threat is real, it’s better to err on the side of caution and let the authorities handle it.
If you have any concerns about your child’s safety, or if you want to learn more about keeping your child safe online, you can contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.
Which Laws Protect Children Online?
There are several laws in Texas that help protects children from online predators and other dangers. These include the following:
- The Online Solicitation of a Minor Law makes it a crime for anyone to use the internet, email, chat rooms, or instant messaging to intentionally solicit sex from a child under the age of 17.
- The Sexting Law prohibits anyone from sending sexually explicit images of minors under the age of 18. This includes images of nude or partially nude children, as well as sexual images of children engaged in sexual acts.
- The Child Pornography Law makes it a crime to knowingly possess, produce, or distribute images of child pornography. This includes both real and computer-generated images.
- The Cyberstalking Law makes it a crime to use the internet, email, or other electronic communications to stalk or harass someone. This can include sending threatening or obscene messages, making repeated unwanted contact, or publishing private information about someone without their permission.
Why Is Internet Safety Important for Kids?
Internet Safety is important for kids because they are more vulnerable to online predators and other dangers. Children often don’t understand the potential risks of interacting with people they don’t know online or on the phone. They may also be less likely to tell their parents about suspicious behavior because they don’t want to get in trouble. Monitoring your child’s online activity and talking to them about cyber safety can help keep them safe from harm.
How to Identify an Unwanted Call In Texas?
If you receive an unwanted call, there are a few things you can do to try and identify the caller:
- Note the time and date of the call.
- Write down any information displayed on your caller ID, if possible.
- Pay attention to anything the caller says that could be used to identify them, such as their name, company name, or why they’re calling.
- Reverse phone lookup can provide you with a variety of information about the owner of a given phone number.
- If the caller refuses to give you any identifying information, hang up and do not respond to any further communication from them.
What Can Parents Do?
There are several things that parents can do to help keep their kid’s internet safe:
- Talk to your children about the dangers of interacting with people they don’t know online or on the phone.
- Monitor your child’s online activity and who they’re talking to.
- Keep the lines of communication open so your child feels comfortable coming to you with any concerns.
- Report any suspicious behavior to the police.
- Know the laws about sexting, cyberstalking, and child pornography, and make sure your child does as well.
- Use parental controls to block inappropriate websites and limit the amount of time your child spends online.
- Consider installing monitoring software on your child’s computer or phone.
Keeping your kid’s internet safety is an important part of being a parent in today’s world. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your child has a positive and safe experience online.
The Bottom Line
Receiving threats through phone calls or text messages can be a frightening experience, especially if the caller is anonymous. If you receive one of these types of threats, it’s important to remain calm and try to get as much information from the caller as possible. Once you have this information, you can contact the police and provide them with the details so they can investigate the matter further.