Ken Paxton

Columnas del Procurador General


Children and Parents Should Learn Rules of Internet Safety

Children and Parents Should Learn Rules of Internet Safety By Greg Abbott Attorney General of Texas The safety of our children is a top priority for me as Attorney General, and keeping kids safe on the Internet is an especially important challenge. We want our children to benefit from the vast educational power of the World Wide Web, but the fact is, a new kind of predator has surfaced, ready to take advantage of a child's natural curiosity and trusting nature. My Cyber Crimes investigators have been working undercover since 2003, patrolling chat rooms frequented by children. As you probably know, these investigators are very adept at presenting themselves as 12, 13, or 14 year-old girls and boys. It is shocking that within a few minutes our investigators are approached by adults who are sexual predators on the prowl. Although we have arrested dozens of these predators, many, many more remain at large. That is why my office is redoubling its efforts to make children and parents aware of the danger so they can protect themselves. This May, we launched a new Kids' Page at, and a major focus of the games and activities on the Kids' Page is Internet safety. In addition to online safety information, the Kids' Page Web site contains a video question-and-answer session with The Attorney General, games and coloring pages about Texas history and the Office of the Attorney General, and other helpful links for students. Students can also participate in interactive "investigations" and can even become a Junior AG. "Kyle Coyote" is the animated tour guide for the Web site, which includes information in English and Spanish. More recently, we have assigned a new Cyber Safety Officer the task of teaching students and parents about Internet safety. Officer Paul Aleman travels throughout the state giving presentations about safe surfing to classes in schools, boys' and girls' clubs, and communities. Children must be taught that people they chat with on the Internet may not be who or what they say they are. Parents must be aware that predators are actively targeting their children in chat rooms. We try to teach children to never give out personal information such as their name and address and to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet on the Internet. You should also encourage your child to tell you immediately if he or she is approached by a stranger online. The Internet is a wonderful tool, but it can be a dangerous place, too. Parents and kids alike may be reassured because the child is sitting at home, within easy reach of his or her parents. But a child who logs into a chat room may be as exposed and vulnerable as a child who arrives alone at a big city bus station. A certain kind of criminal prowls these places, looking for unsuspecting victims. I know you share my concern for the safety of our children on the Internet. Please let us know how we can help you make your community a safer place. POINTS TO REMEMBER Internet Safety for Children 1. Children should never give out personal information such as their name and address to someone they meet online. 2. Children should never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet online. 3. A child who is approached by a stranger online should immediately tell his or her parent or guardian. Visit the Attorney General's Kids' Page at You can report Sexual Exploitation of Children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at Information on this and other topics is available on the Attorney General's Web site at