SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis on Tuesday urged parents to pick up free "Computer Cop" software aimed at protecting children from online predators and bullying.
The software, paid for with assets taken from drug dealers, enables parents to scan photos, videos, emails and chat messages for inappropriate content.
According to the District Attorney's Office, one in seven young people online are solicited for sexual purposes or approached, and 34 percent had unwanted exposure to sexual material.
"Over the past year, our office has filed 60 cases that involve the use of the Internet to victimize children. That's roughly double the number of cases from the year before," Dumanis said. "We all know there are some dangerous off-ramps on the information superhighway that can lead to very dark places. Every day children are contacted by predators through the Internet.
This software lets parents see what their kids are up to online and head off dangerous situations before they occur." The software enables computers to be searched for content, "cookies," text logs with key words of a sexual nature, drug slang, gang names and terms, weapons, and violent or threatening words.
The District Attorney's Office is making available up to 5,000 copies of the software available. Copies can be picked up at the District Attorney's office on the 13th floor of the Hall of Justice downtown, or at any of the District Attorney's three regional offices "This is just one tool that parents can use to monitor their child's Internet use," Dumanis said. "I urge parents to talk with their kids about their safety online. And if you're a kid, tell your parents if something strange or upsetting happens to you online."