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Southeast Idaho task forces help protect children online

Southeast Idaho online safety

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Do you know what your child does on the internet? In the age of social media, online predators and sextortion is becoming an issue for teens and kids. 

Here in Southeast Idaho, there are task forces to help kids stay safe and out of harms way in case those situations come up.

"When we have to see these images of these children," David Stubbs, a detective of the Rexburg Police Department, said. "You can see in their faces, how scared they are."

Stubbs is part of the internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force here in Southeast Idaho.

He, and other agencies, help assist other task forces across the state to identify predators.

"Because of technology and so forth," Stubbs said. "It's getting bigger and bigger all the time."

Because of the introduction of Snapchat, and messaging apps - sextortion has increased.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in 2017 alone, they "received more than 10.2 million reports of online enticement."

"We are constantly getting leads and other means of children being exploited by individuals," Stubbs said. "By either the production or manufacturing of child pornography or the actual sharing images of child pornography."

ICAC program trains law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as educating parents and youth about the potential dangers of online activity.

"Parents out there, keep an eye on what your children are doing," Stubbs said. "Especially with their electronic devices. Things that they may seem are harmless now, could cause them problems in the future."

The task force has a national network of 61 units that represent more than 4,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, including in Rexburg, Idaho Falls and Pocatello.

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