Cyber crime symposium in Los Angeles teaches teens online safety

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In downtown Los Angeles, a coalition of law enforcement agencies gathered to hold the 8th Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium on Tuesday. (KABC)

With the increasing number of children participating online and in social media, internet safety has become a priority for parents and law enforcement.

A coalition of law enforcement agencies held the 8th Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday to address issues concerning online behavior.

"The purpose...is to educate middle and high school age kids on how to be safe on the internet," FBI agent Ronald Schloegel said.

More than 300 students, parents and educators participated in the lectures and workshops hosted at the event.

Among the topics discussed were cyberbullying, child exploitation, cyber abuse and sextortion.

"Hearing from specialists and people who study this, it's kind of a wake-up call," high school senior Silvia Camacho said.

Underage naked selfies persist as a major problem, according to Lt. Andrea Grossman with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for the Los Angeles Police Department.

"They think it's going to be personal and then when they break up, it goes all over and it becomes viral. At that time, it's when we have to step in," Grossman said. "Actually, just the mere possession of a photograph of a naked child is considered child pornography."

Grossman shared that every year the task force makes about 600 cyber-related arrests.

"If I'm going to comment on something I should really check what I'm writing so I can make sure I'm not offending someone or susceptible to cyberbullying myself," high school sophomore Isaiah Dolphin said.

As young children join the elderly as the most targeted online victims, Schloegel recommended that parents be engaged in their children's online behavior.

"Find out who they are talking to online, what type of social media accounts that they have. If they are gamers, what types of games they are playing online," Schloegel said.

According to authorities, the best means of reporting a cyber crime against a child is through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Related Topics:
technologycyberbullyingsocial mediasextinglapdFBIteenagersDowntown LALos AngelesLos Angeles County
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