LANSING. In recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is helping to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, particularly online sexual exploitation of children. The Michigan ICAC Task Force is part of a nationwide partnership of law enforcement agencies with the mission of protecting children online and holding offenders accountable.
Some recent Michigan ICAC Task Force activity includes:
•The capture of a predator for using an unsuspecting family’s wireless access point to exploit children.
•A digital forensic examination that assisted in the conviction of an ex-school bus driver who is now serving 18 to 50 years in prison.
•The guilty plea of a youth minister for using an Internet instant messaging program for sexual communications with minors.
•Investigating more than 1,000 Cyber tips a year.
•Supporting local agencies with technical assistance and financial aid to help strengthen their ability to protect children in their jurisdictions.
The Michigan ICAC Task Force offers the following Internet safety tips for children:
•Diligent parental supervision will help ensure your child’s safety on the Internet.
•Remember that people on the Internet may not be who they seem. Never give out identifying information such as your name, home address, school name or telephone number in a public message, such as in a chat room or on a bulletin board.
•Be wary of any offers that involve you meeting an online friend or having an online friend visit your home.
•Never send your picture without first asking a parent.
•Never respond to messages or items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening or make you feel uncomfortable