THE ADULT SECTION OF BACKPAGE.COM IS DOWN, BUT THE FIGHT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO OVER…
Great news on many levels and a step in the right direction. Somehow though, I doubt it means that much to you. Sure, you are glad to hear it, but it probably feels the same as when you read in the news that authorities captured a significant terrorist in Pakistan. You know it means the world is a bit safer, but Pakistan is a long way from your town and you are confident he was not after you.
If the terrorist had been responsible for an attack that killed your child, certainly you would view things differently. That news would be a reason to celebrate, but also a reminder that there are still very dangerous threats out there and we have to maintain our resolve and continue the pursuit.
The same applies to backpage.com. It was the terrorist that lived in your town, in your neighborhood, maybe even in your home, yet you did not even know it. Backpage.com targeted your family and may have almost taken one of you, but you never knew.
Countless others in this country, maybe even in your town, were not so lucky. The backpage.com “terrorists” targeted them and won. You may have heard about it in the local news: “Local Teen Goes Missing, story at 11.” You probably shook your head and said, “what a shame…” and went back to your life. If so, that is normal; we all have our lives to live.
“70 Percent Of Child Sex Trafficking Victims Are Sold Online. The U.S. Justice Department believes child sex trafficking could generate a staggering $32 billion a year.”
Until it is your family member and suddenly, your “normal” life vanishes before your eyes and all is dark. I wish it were not possible. I wish there were not evil people and pitfalls in this world. But there are… There are… Hear me and understand: there are 50 more “Backpage.com” sites out there and they are lurking and plotting their next attack.
The enemy is at the gate. We must remain vigilant. We must take things into our own hands because there are simply not enough authorities out there to clean up the world. It is up to you, it is up to me, and most importantly, it is up to us to make it better.
Together, we can continue spreading awareness, educating our children and families, and stop the abductions. We have no choice, because the only alternative is to let them win, and if they do, your family may be the next victim.
Join us in this fight today, and stay with us through the end.
WEB SAFETY TIPS
As part of this awareness and education, we are including some web safety tips to share with your children that may appear simple, but go a long way in protecting them.
- Make sure your profile is set to private to prevent outsiders from getting personal information about you.
- Predators routinely pose as teenagers online to get your personal information. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Do not agree to meet someone in person that you only know/met online. Many, many teenagers have been abducted and otherwise hurt this way.
- Never provide your personal information (full name, address, phone number, etc.) to anyone on social media. Only do so via email if you initiated the contact and know them.
- Predators, criminals, and hackers use messages to get into your systems. Don’t open messages from people you don’t know.
- Don’t share your password with anyone outside your immediate family.
- If someone claims to have embarrassing pictures, videos, or information about you, don’t try to hide it – stop communicating with them and get help from your family.
- Never give personal information to anyone in a chat room, even if you personally know them. If you know them and they need the information, find another way to pass it to them.
- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it is! Just ignore it and move on.
- A good rule of thumb is to not post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, because once it’s posted on the internet, assume it’s out there forever and can be used against you.