ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of children. Investigations of child sexual exploitation are among HSI’s primary investigative priorities. The sexual abuse of children impacts the most vulnerable segment of our society.
ICE HSI knows the importance of education and community awareness regarding the dangers of online activity.
Providing children, teens, parents and teachers with information regarding the potential dangers of online environments and how to stay safe online can help prevent many instances of child exploitation. That is why HSI has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s NetSmartz and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces to develop Project iGuardian.
Think Before You Click
About Project iGuardian
Project iGuardian aims to counter a disturbing fact: many online child predators can find victims online because children are not always aware of how dangerous online environments can be.
Project iGuardian is focused on keeping children and teens safe from online predators through education and awareness. The project is an outreach effort to share information about the dangers of online environments, how to stay safe online, and how to report abuse and suspicious activity. In addition, the iGuardians ™ team is here to help kids stay safe online by providing safety tips, a number to call, and a website with links to more information and resources. Project iGuardian helps kids, teens and parents be smarter about online safety and stay safe from online sexual predators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the Internet and stay safe, and we have some friends over at Netsmartzkids.org that can help. Stop by and meet our friends Clickie, Webster, Nettie and the gang. They have some fun games to play online!
Below are some great tips to keep in mind while surfing the Web:
• Never share pictures of yourself online that you wouldn't want to be seen by your family, teachers or a total stranger.
• Set user profile to private so only real friends can get access. Know who you're chatting with - a "friend" is not always a friend.
• Don't share personal information online like your full name, school, address or phone number, or user passwords.
• Don't meet up in person with anyone you met online.
• Report suspected abuse to law enforcement or a trusted adult.
There's a lot to deal with on the Internet – cyberbullies, privacy settings, gossip, and even creeps. These resources from Netsmartz.org can help you navigate the Internet while guarding your reputation. From watching real-life stories to hearing what other teens are saying about issues like cyberbullying and social networking, these resources can help you make the right decisions online.
Tips to be safe online:
• Think before you click
• Don't meet in person with someone you met online that you do not know
• Treat people online as you would in person: be polite!
• Don't post inappropriate pictures or personal information online
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is one of the leading federal law enforcement agencies that investigates crimes involving child pornography and the sexual exploitation of minors. HSI special agents work throughout the country, along with state, local and other federal law enforcement partners, as well as with criminal investigators around the world, to conduct investigations leading to the prosecution of child predators and the rescue and identification of victims.
The internet is a great way for people to stay in touch with friends and family, and meet new people as well. Predators know this and they actively stalk online meeting places such as chat rooms and social media sites. They are adept at targeting children and luring them into dangerous or inappropriate behavior. This process is known as "grooming."
Signs of grooming:
• Receiving gifts through mail
• Making calls to unknown numbers
• Turning away from family and friends
• Spending lots of time online
• Minimizing screen or turning off the monitor when you come into room
HSI's Child Exploitation Investigations Unit wants you to know how to prevent and report instances of child exploitation. Our partners at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children have created the NetSmartz educational outreach program to do just that. Visit NetSmartz.org to learn more about any of the following topics:
• Cell Phones
• Children as Victims
• Email, IM and Chat Rooms
• File Sharing
• Identity Theft
• Inappropriate Content
• Internet Safety
• Revealing Too Much
• Social Networking
This 6 page handout contains black and white images and facts that can be colored.
Double sided three-part brochure that details the iGuardian mission.
Wallpapers for desktop computers are available here. The .zip file contains six wallpapers, both full-color and in grayscale.
Wallpapers for iPhone 5 phones. The .zip file contains six wallpapers, both full-color and in grayscale.
Internet Safety for Teens
For more information on internet safety for teens, visit Staysafe.org's guide.
Note: this is an external link not affiliated with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
About Operation Predator
HSI’s Operation Predator is an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 31,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In Fiscal Year 2019, more than 3,900 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified and/or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing an online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.