How to Report Inappropriate Online Conduct

There is no excuse for inappropriate online conduct.  Yes, surfers may come across websites that have what they consider inappropriate content, but that’s not the same thing as inappropriate conduct. 

how to report online crimeInappropriate online conduct includes such things as bullying and stalking as well as sex predators and child pornography.

The first thing to always keep in mind is that, if you think your child is in imminent danger, call 911 immediately.  Your child’s safety comes first.  Don’t assume the problem will clear up by itself.  Take prompt action.

Sexual predators and child molesters need to be reported immediately to the police even if you don’t feel your child is in immediate danger.  Should your child want to meet an “online friend,” just say no. 

Other inappropriate online conduct, while perhaps not an emergency, can be quite serious and should also be reported promptly.  Online bullying and harassment, for example, can have serious consequences, particularly with emotionally vulnerable teens. 

Bullying includes threatening messages, having rumors spread, having embarrassing (included altered or faked) pictures posted, or even pretending to be the victim.  The inappropriate behavior can be meant as a joke in poor taste or a deliberate attempt to cause harm.

Every effort should be made to identity the bully and punish them.  Report the behavior to the police, your Internet service provider, to any moderators or service agents, and, if appropriate, to the school.  Make sure you document the harassment by making screen prints, taking notes, recording dates and so forth.

In non-emergency situations, there are several things you can do to report inappropriate online conduct.  This includes hate sites as well as fraud and phishing attempts.  In cases like these, you should report the emails or websites to the appropriate source, which would be the website’s hosting service or the sender’s email provider. 

Kids and Inappropriate Internet RelationshipsTo contact the email provider, simply send an email to support@ and the sender’s domain name (which is what appears after the @ in the sender’s email address) 

Tracking down a hosting service by yourself is a bit more difficult, and requires using ‘traceroute’ and a Regional Internet Registrar.  However, you simply can call your own ISP and ask for their help.  Once you’ve found out, you can go to the hosting service website and file a complaint.

Whatever the inappropriate online conduct, reporting it can help stop it. Not reporting it won’t make it go away.

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One Response to “How to Report Inappropriate Online Conduct”

  1. Carla says:

    Today I sat on the computer to look up information related to a topic I’ve been studying for my history class. I stumbled upon a site called “CENSORED”, with some of the most offensive things I’ve ever read or seen. I am saddened that people abuse freedom of speech and Internet censorship, and more, all things we were given to be able to express postive and creative thoughts and ideas, not concepts that both alienate and hurt its readers. I’m not sure how to go about getting more attention to these people who have taken time out to do such hurtful things and put them up on the internet, but hopefully someone can someday. And maybe someday, tolerance will be considered just as serious as some of the many other issues we deal with today.

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