Programs that help individuals, organizations and the general public protect themselves against situations in which their access to the Internet or use of a mobile phone or other telecommunications device has made them vulnerable to a crime in which their computer or cell phone is the object of a crime (hacking, phishing, spamming) or is being used by another as a tool to commit a crime. Security measures include use of strong passwords; activating the computer's firewall; installing and updating anti-virus/malware and spyware detection software; avoiding unsolicited emails and text messages that look suspicious or have been sent by a stranger; avoiding public Wi-Fi; protecting personal information on social media; restricting physical access to sensitive information by shutting down computers when they aren't being used; locking mobile devices; and encrypting confidential data to keep it secure. Regularly reviewing bank and credit card statements to quickly catch identity theft and online crimes can help reduce the impact if it has occurred.
Programs, often offered by the schools, that attempt to protect children from molestation and other forms of sexual assault by family members, friends of the family, caretakers or strangers by teaching them about good and bad touches, that their body is their own, that it is all right to say "no" if someone wants to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, and which encourage them to tell someone if they are approached or assaulted.
Programs that provide a hotline or other mechanisms that the public can use to report instances in which an individual or group of individuals is involved in the possession, manufacture and/or distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child prostitution; child sex tourism; non-familial child sexual molestation; sending unsolicited obscene material to a child or other acts that constitute child sexual exploitation.
Programs that are designed to make the public aware of the steps that people, especially parents, can take to assure the safety and well-being of their children when they use the Internet. The programs generally provide information about the educational benefits of the Internet; discuss child friendly search engines and service providers; introduce participants to filtering software and other technological solutions that can supplement adult supervision; and warn parents about violent or pornographic websites, unsolicited e-mail, and the dangers of pedophiles, abusers, and other menacing individuals lurking in Internet chat rooms. All Internet safety programs stress the cardinal rule that children/adolescents should never give out personal information, send their picture to people they meet on the Internet or agree to meet strangers in person, however benign they appear to be.
Programs that provide immediate assistance for parents who have abused or fear they may abuse their children with the objective of defusing the parent's anger and frustration and ensuring the child's future safety through referrals for ongoing support and treatment. Also included may be services for abused children and concerned others who are in need of advice, guidance and/or emotional support. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.
Information that is available to people with personal computers equipped with Internet connections and the appropriate software.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.