Google's multi-million dollar cooperative investment, when added to existing and emerging technology, appears to be a strong step in the right direction to put criminal child sexual abuse images in the hands of law enforcement and out of the public domain. Philly.com says "Law enforcement agencies are already using PhotoDNA to track and identify offending images. ... It’s possible law enforcement agencies could now use both the 'fingerprints' and 'DNA' of images and videos as a means of tackling tens of millions of images."
What can you do? Start a conversation with your children (or keep one going) so they feel comfortable discussing online problems they encounter, and cyber risks, including:
- consequences of revealing personal information (name, age, address, telephone, pictures)
- "private chats" with a stranger
- meeting alone with anyone they met online
- predators seeking child victims and lying about their age, sex, and identity
- responding to suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing messages – instead, report these messages to CyberTipline or the police
If your teenager needs to talk to someone but may feel more comfortable talking to another teen, they can call Teen Line for confidential help and support at 800-852-8336 every evening 6 to 10 p.m. Or they can text "TEEN" to 839863.