Stenehjehm Urges Parents to "Take 25"
BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem joins the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and its “Take 25” program, which commemorates the annual National Missing Children’s Day each year on May 25. The goal of “Take 25” is to heighten awareness about children’s safety issues and to encourage parents to talk to their kids about ways to be safer.

"I am proud to support the Take 25 program,” said Stenehjem. “Over the Memorial Day weekend, I hope parents will take 25 minutes to talk to their children about staying safe, and especially about smart phone and Internet safety.”

The Take 25 program (www.take25.org) is supported by national law enforcement organizations and government agencies, including the Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) program. ICAC coordinates national enforcement efforts to combat online child sexual exploitation. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is a member of ICAC, and coordinates the state’s ICAC task forces.

To help parents start the conversation, Stenehjem offered the following safety tips:

•Make sure your child knows which websites are acceptable and install a security program to block inappropriate websites. Monitor your child’s browsing activity.

•If your child has an e-mail account, check the content of the emails received and sent. Set your e-mail filter to block spam and adult content.

•Check your teen’s page on social networking sites such as Facebook. Visit the North Dakota ICAC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NDICAC) to learn important safety information for social networking use.

•Check your child’s smart phone for applications that may be set to tag their location or share personal information. Monitor their use of social applications such as Facebook, Tagged, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and KIK messenger.

Stenehjem said while some parents may worry that they are intruding on their child’s privacy, it is more important that they protect their children from Internet predators. “Children form online friendships quickly and they often forget that information they post for their friends can be seen by others, including internet predators,” he said. “Remind your children that anything they send from their phones can be easily forwarded and shared,” Stenehjem continued.

Parents can find more information on Internet safety on the Attorney General’s website at www.ag.nd.gov.

-Liz Brocker, Office of the Attorney General