HILLSBORO, Ore.- Online distanced learning. TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and video games. Let’s face it, these days our children are more connected to the internet than ever before.  Unfortunately, cyber predators know this as well. They are using tried-and-true methods and developing new strategies to exploit children online.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is working to adapt to these new threats to protect children. Recently, Senior Deputy District Attorney Andy Pulver, who oversees the Child Abuse Team, issued the video warning below to parents. SDDA Pulver has prosecuted cases involving child abuse for years and knows firsthand the strategies these predators uses to take advantage of children. He recommends parents keep the following advice in mind when it comes to digital devices and our children:

  • Don’t overshare. Make sure your children know not to share personal information online. Birthdays, phone numbers and addresses are among some of the most common things people share. Scammers and predators can use this information to take advantage of you.
  • Search the web. Conduct regular internet searches to ensure this sensitive information pertaining to your children isn’t on the web.
  • Check privacy settings. Make sure your kids use privacy settings to restrict access to their online profiles. Tell your children to be extremely wary when communicating with anyone online who they do not know in real life.
  • Beware of online child sexual exploitation. This is when a predator forges a relationship with a young victim online and then later arranges to meet and abuse the child or coerces a child into producing sexually explicit images or videos through manipulation, gifts, or threats. To help prevent this, explain to your kids that once images or comments are posted online, they can be shared with anyone and never truly disappear.

Please watch our video below to learn more. 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Andy Pulver details how parents can keep their kids safe online as distanced learning ramps up. 

October 15, 2020