In the early days of the internet, many people became concerned about the possibility of predators using chat rooms as a way to gain access to children. Today, blogs and social networking sites are more of a concern, as children and teenagers share much more personal information than ever before.
John Shehan, the Project Manager of the CyberTipline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, speaks with Larry Magid about the new dangers on the internet for kids. Shehan explains that online journals allow predators to learn almost everything about the kids they are targeting, including some surprisingly candid information. As kids use these tools to build relationships with their peers, they are also leaving themselves vulnerable.
Shehan shares tips for parents to help their kids be safer online, and reiterates that the most important thing a parent can do is keep the lines of communication open with their children.
John Shehan is the CyberTipline Program Manager in the Exploited Child Unit at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). He is responsible for the daily operations of all aspects of the CyberTipline as well as managing a staff of approximately 20 analysts. Mr. Shehan has used his analytical skills on over 15,500 Cybertipline reports, hundreds of which have ultimately resulted in the apprehension of child sexual predators. He has participated in and presented at numerous law enforcement investigative training programs on high technology crimes, online child exploitation as well as investigative and analytical skill development. He has provided extensive technical assistance to law enforcement in the United States as well as abroad on cases of child sexual exploitation, especially Internet crimes against children.
Mr. Shehan has been with NCMEC for five years and began his NCMEC career in the call center. While working in the call center, Mr. Shehan spent time managing a moderate caseload for the missing children division, which consisted primarily of endangered runaways. Prior to his services with NCMEC, he was an honors graduate from Radford University with a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice.
NCMEC's Exploited Child Unit was established in 1996 by a mandate by the United States Congress. ECU works collaboratively with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Customs Service (now the Department of Homeland Security) in cases of child sexual exploitation. ECU serves as a resource center for the public, parents, law enforcement, and others on the issues of the sexual exploitation of children. ECU analysts process reports received on the sexual exploitation of children through the CyberTipline and disseminate the leads to federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies for further investigation. ECU analysts provide technical assistance to federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies investigating child sexual exploitation cases.
This free podcast is from our Larry's World series.