Parents Guardians & Educators Resource

Parents, Guardians & Educators Resource

Traffickers will target children and youth who are disconnected, and / or feeling unloved. The primary tools for targeting children is social media and the internet. These tips will empower you with tools to prevent and /or intervene if a child in your care is being targeted. I also provide you with the critical action steps to take if a child in your care does go missing.


Download and use the FBI Child ID App: The FBI has designed a mobile device App which allows you to upload the vital information and photos of your child. If they go missing you will have what you need to give law enforcement, and step by step instructions.


Online Safety Begins at Home: Never give a child access to the internet, or internet capable devices without first discussing online safety and etiquette. A great resource is This site is run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They have different age appropriate programs you can do with your children to teach them online safety and etiquette. The programs are fun and informative ways to introduce online safety and etiquette. When we parents were younger it was “stranger danger” today the “danger stranger” is disguised by cyberspace.


Know your Children’s Social Media Activity: Everybody is online today, especially our children, and bad guys know this. Know and monitor you child’s social media accounts. There is no such thing as their right to online privacy from their parents. Discuss with your child their online profiles. Have them open

their devices for you and show their applications, and online accounts. Know all their passwords and user names. Make it a game, like saying, “hey I heard about all these Apps’ at work. Show me what’s on your phone and how to use them, so I look cool.” After several eye rolls, they will “tutor” you on how to snap, chat, post, poke, tweet, kick, and swipe. This information is gold, pay close attention.


Privacy Settings: Have you every Googled your child? If not, then do so. If you can see information on them from a Google search, so can the bad guys. With your child go to the settings category of every device, application, and online account. Make sure the privacy settings are at a level where personal information is best protected, and not viewable from unknown profiles.


Selfies: This is the age of the selfie. Make sure you have access to your child’s cloud storage accounts, because that is where you find up to date photos of them. In the event, they do go missing you will be able to provide the police, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, with recent photos of your child, their friends, photos of where, and who they hang out with.


There is an App for That: There are applications you can download onto your child’s devices to track their location. There are even applications which let you see what they are doing online. You are not

invading their privacy; you are ensuring their safety. In the event, they do go missing, these applications are invaluable.



Watch for Hidden & Dangerous Apps: While in your child’s devices watch for hidden or dangerous applications like KIK and Snapchat. There are Apps which disguise themselves as calculator. Put in a code and it opens hidden applications. KIK and Snapchat hide communications between users. There is no need for your child to have a way to secretly communicate with anyone. There are different ways to check your child’s device for these hidden Apps. One way is to do a hard reset on your child’s device.

After doing a hard-reset review the Apps on the device. When you see groups of Apps in a box, open the box, then swipe left and right. Sometimes these Apps are hidden on multiple screens within group App boxes.

Hard-reset instructions:

Apple devices: Press & Hold the Power button and Home Key simultaneously.

Android devices: Press & Hold the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously.

Samsung Galaxy devices: Press & Hold Volume Up Home Key Power button simultaneously. Another way to check is;

  1. Go to the device App Store (Apps Store, iTunes, Google Play, Android Apps, Windows Store, Microsoft Store, etc.)
  2. Type in the search box “hidden apps” or “secret apps”
  3. Scroll through the list of If there is a cloud, or the word installed, next to the App then the App is already on the device, just hidden.


Ghost Accounts: Contact your internet and cellular providers and ask them how many users / cloud accounts are associated with your services. If there are more accounts than persons in your home, and / or family, then it is likely there are “Ghost Accounts” being used by your teenager. These accounts are often used to hide photos and other social media interaction from adult supervision. If you suspect you have “ghost accounts” bring it up with your provider as to methods of security and parental controls you can enable on your account. Watch for text messages referring to “#Finsta” or “Spam” as both refer to secret online social media accounts.


Know Your Child’s Friends & How to Contact Them: Your child will tell their friends things they will not tell you. Your child’s friends may witness things you need to know. If your child has a friend you don’t know, then question them. Ask to speak with the friend’s parents, just a friendly get to know will be a

treasure of information. If your child suddenly changes friends, know why, and get to know their new friends.


Changes in Behavior: Watch for changes in your child’s behavior. You know your child better than anyone. If you see changes in their behavior, sleep patterns, mood swings, friends, interests, and attitude it could be any number of reasons, but still very important to always investigate. Talk to them and question them on what is going on. Often children who are being exploited, or groomed for exploitation will have a rehearsed story, that when pressed for details breaks down. Remember, if it doesn’t sound right, then probe.



Know how to do a Reverse Image Search: Traffickers commonly create fake online identities to contact and manipulate children. Part of this involves them pretending to be another teenager, or a pretty girl, high school football star, etc. The online term for this is “catfishing” The Trafficker will steal photos from

the online account of a real youth or child to create their online fake identity. One way to screen for this is through Reverse Image Searches. If you search an image and two or more profiles with different names are found, then you have a catfishing situation. It is also good to do this for your child’s photos to see if

their pictures are being misused by a predator.


Using your phone or tablet


  • Use the Chrome app to do a search
  • Touch the image you want to search with to open a larger version of the image
  • Press and hold the image
  • In the box that appears, touch Search Google for this


Using Google Image Search there are four ways to search by image.


  • Drag and drop an image from the web or your computer into the search box on
  • On, click the camera icon
  • Select “Upload an image”
  • Copy and paste the URL for an image
  • Right-click an image on the web


Using an iPad


Open Google Reverse Image Search for Phones and Tablets


  • Tap ‘Select Image’
  • Select an image from your camera roll, or from a cloud drive
  • Tap ‘Reverse Search’
  • A new tab will open with search results for the image you uploaded

YouTube it: If you hear your children talk about something, or if you read about it, YouTube it. There are

 hours of tutorials on YouTube. I suggest all parents, guardians, & educators watch;

  • CNN’s production of “Being Thirteen: Inside the Secret World of Teens”
  • Can You See Me? (Child Sexual Exploitation-USA)
  • Hidden America: Chilling New Look at Sex Trafficking in the US


*Copyright has been filed on this material. It is provided for educational purposes only. It can be shared / copied /distributed for


Urban Dictionary: Are you familiar with “text speak” “emoji speak” “street slang” or the online codes used by youth? Most adults are not even aware that these codes and slang make up a secret language that youth and predators, are using. The website Urban Dictionary provides you with the ability to type in the slang or code and view the translation. This is a great tool to stay up to date to protect your children.


Prepaid Cards & Gifts: If you didn’t buy it for them, why do they have it? Often people who are trying to exploit children will give them gifts to entice them. This can be in the form of items like cellular telephones, expensive purses, video games, expensive clothing, jewelry, and prepaid credit cards. Often human

traffickers load their cash onto prepaid credit cards, and iTunes cards. If your child has a stack of gift / prepaid / iTunes cards know where they got them. Your child should never have any expensive gifts you, or someone you know, didn’t give to them.


Always Call Law Enforcement: If your child does go missing then immediately call 911. Provide the police with all the information you gathered from following my other tips. DO NOT DELAY! The first 48 hours are CRITICAL, as most leads, and the chances for successful recovery, diminish after 48 hours.


*Copyright has been filed on this material. It is provided for educational purposes only. It can be shared / copied /distributed for


Always INSIST on NCMEC: After you have made the police report, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;


NCMEC works with the police to provide resources and connections that not all police departments have or can afford. NCMEC will make a digital flier of your child; with that internet cloud account photo, you downloaded. NCMEC will than electronically send the flier to thousands of police departments, emergency services, hospitals, bus stations, train stations, airports, and vendors throughout your area and where it is suspected your child could be at. This happens within hours of NCMEC receiving the report and photo of your child. NCMEC has specially trained staff, and high-tech tools, that will comb the internet for leads to find your child, which they will report to law enforcement.


*Copyright has been filed on this material. It is provided for educational purposes only. It can be shared / copied /distributed for

 educational purposes only. Commercial sale or fund-raising use of this material is sole exclusive right of the author / creator; Charles “Chuck” Paul