Internet Child Exploitation Team
The Internet Child Exploitation Team is dedicated to investigating complaints of the sexual exploitation of children online. The team conducts investigations which are reported through normal department protocol, as well as complaints from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Team also conducts undercover investigations online, while working with the National Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.
The Team regularly works with other law enforcement agencies including many suburban Police Departments, and a variety of Federal Agencies. Through these partnerships the team has become an integral part of the Illinois Law Enforcement Communities’ response to the online predation of our children.
The team also is committed to teaching children, and their parents to be safe during their online activities. Throughout the year members appear at area school, social groups, and parent organizations to present information to the community regarding online safety.
Online Safety Rules for Kids
Do not give out personal information such as address, telephone number, parent’s work address/telephone number, or the name and location of your school. Tell your parents right away if you come across any information that makes you feel uncomfortable. Never agree to get together with someone online without first checking with your parents. If parents agree to the meeting, be sure that it is in a public place and bring mother or father along. Never send a person your picture or anything else without first checking with parents.
Do not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make you feel uncomfortable. If you do, tell parents right away so that they can contact the online service. Talk with your parents so that you can set up rules for going online. Decide upon the time of the day that you can be online, the length of time you can be online and appropriate areas for me to visit. Do not access other areas or break these rules without parents permission.
Safety Tips Parents
Secure Your Computer: You’re responsible for the use of your service account.
- You should secure your computer equipment so that only authorized users can gain access to your service account.
- Block Spam-Use Spam Blocker to filter out unwanted e-mail and other junk bulk mail.
- Regularly Scan for Viruses-Always perform a virus scan on files e-mailed to you or downloaded from the Internet.
- Use a Firewall-If you have an ‘always-on’ connection to the Internet (cable, DSL, etc.), installing firewall software can help protect your PC.
Protect Personal Information
- Never post or disclose any personally identifiable information belonging to children. Children and teens should be especially careful not to give anyone personal information about themselves such as real name, phone, address, city, URL, age, gender, or e-mail ID.
- Keep E-mail Address Private-If you wish to include your e-mail address on a web page you’ve created, please be aware that Web crawlers can visit your page, pull the e-mail address and proceed to use it in mass e-mailings.
Protect your children online
Children present unique security risks when they use a computer — not only do you have to keep them safe, but you have to protect their data on your computer. By taking some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the threats. Keep your computer in a central and open location in your home and be aware of other computers your child may be using. Discuss and set guidelines/rules for computer use with your children. Post these rules by the computer as a reminder. Use the Internet with your children. Familiarize yourself with your children’s online activities and maintain a dialogue with your child about what applications they are using. Implement parental control tools that are provided by some ISPs and available for purchase as separate software packages. Remember – No program is a substitute for parental supervision. Also, you may be able to set some parental controls within your browser. Internet Explorer allows you to restrict or allow certain web sites to be viewed on your computer, and you can protect these settings with a password. To find those options, click Tools on your menu bar, select Internet Options, choose the Content tab, and click the Enable button under Content Advisor. Consider software that allows you to monitor your children’s email and web traffic. Know who your children’s online friends are and supervise their chat areas. Teach your children never to give out personal information to people they meet online such as in chat rooms or bulletin boards. Know who to contact if you believe your child is in danger. If you know of a child in immediate risk or danger, call law enforcement immediately. Please report instances of online child exploitation to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children’s Cybertipline.
Even though children may have better technical skills, don’t be intimidated by their knowledge. Children still need advice, guidance, and protection. Keep the lines of communication open and let your child know that you can be approached with any questions they may have about behaviors or problems encountered on the computer.
- ICAC Training and Technical Assistance Program
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
- NetSmartz Workshop
- Project Safe Childhood
Chicago Police Special Investigations Unit
1240 S. Damen Ave
Telephone: (312) 492-3810
Would like to request a unit email address of: Internet.Crimes@ChicagoPolice.org, to facilitate requests for safety presentations, and the ability for department members to ask general questions regarding these type of investigations.