Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|February 7, 2023
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Warns Floridians of Online Predators and Human Traffickers on Safer Internet Day
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—On Safer Internet Day, Attorney General Ashley Moody is providing tips and resources to Floridians to guard against online predators. Criminals continue to use the internet, social media, messaging apps, video games and other avenues to create fake accounts and manipulate young users. This can lead to human trafficking, kidnapping and sextortion.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Predators and human traffickers are online lying about their age and intentions, all in an effort to victimize children. Safer Internet Day is a good time to talk to your children about online threats and set strict parameters on the use of social media and devices connected to the internet.”
Online enticement is a primary tactic predators use, particularly to draw the attention of children and teenagers. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, more than 37,000 online enticement reports came in to the CyberTipline in 2020, a 97.5% increase from 2019, with the median age of the children contacted being 15.
Attorney General Moody is providing online safety tips for parents to help keep children safe:
- Require children to make social media accounts private;
- Prevent children from altering or using a fake date of birth to access restricted sites;
- Explain that profiles may be altered to appear as someone else;
- Clarify that once something is sent on the internet, it never goes away; and
- Ensure that children know how to ask for help, even if the situation is uncomfortable.
Attorney General Moody recently warned of an increase in sextortion cases targeting minors. Sextortion is a form of exploitation where victims are convinced into sharing explicit photos or videos of themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, predators targeted more than 3,000 minors in sextortion cases in 2022 alone.
The Florida Attorney General’s Online Safety Toolkit provides important resources for parents and children. The toolkit is designed to empower parents or guardians to create online safety plans and teach children about the dangers of online enticement.
To view the 2022 Online Safety Toolkit in English, click here. For the Spanish version, click here.
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