KEEPING your children safe ONLINE

Broward Sheriff's Office logo

The digital world is an incredible
resource that allows us to work, learn
and socialize. It also poses many
dangers from cyberbullying to
sextortion and even sex trafficking.

As our digital usage increases, the
Broward Sheriff's Office wants to
provide you with the information
necessary to keep you and your
loved ones safe online.

Broward Sheriff's Office logo
Slide three - Apps and Emojis

Apps You Should Know About
Online enticement happens across all platforms. Be aware of the sites, games and apps your children frequent. Ask them to show you how they use these apps.

The app icons indicated are some of the most popular youth apps. Are any of these on your kids' phones? Keep in mind that they change regularly.

Emojis Aren't Just Emojis
Teens communicate using a language they're familiar with emojis.

Eggplant emojiPenisFairy EmojiDenotes a sarcastic, mean-spirited tone
Peach emojiButtMint EmojiMarijuana/weed
Taco emojiVaginaDrewling EmojiDesiring someone sexually (often used in response to nudes)
Ghost EmojiIndicates being "ghosted" (dumped with no explanation)Cherries EmojiBreasts/testicles/virginity
Pointing finger emojiShy, nervous (usually in the context of flirting)Used when sending or receiving nudes
OK sign EmojiCan indicate support for white supremacy in certain contextsEyes EmojiStamp of approval; "I agree"
Water drops EmojiEjaculationOne hundred EmojiUsed to refer to sexual activity
Tongue EmojiMay indicate sexual activity, specifically oral sexEyes and mouth emojiA response that means, "It is what it is"
Purple Devil EmojiFeeling frisky or naughtyHot pepper emojiIndicates "spiciness," i.e., inappropriate or risqué content
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. These emojis are subject to change.
Slide four - Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is the use of technology to tease, humiliate, threaten or harass someone. It can take place through text messaging or social media.

Examples of cyberbullying might include sending mean or inappropriate texts, posting embarrassing photos or sharing private information about someone to humiliate or mock them online.

Even if your child is not being cyberbullied, remind them it is important to report it if they see it happening.

What you can do to prevent cyberbullying:

  • Keep close tabs on who your child is interacting with online.
  • Ensure your child's social media accounts are set to private and accessible only to pre-approved family and friends.
  • Make sure your child never gives your home address or location to anyone they meet online.
  • It is okay to block people from your child's social media profiles.

What you can do if your child is being cyberbullied:

  • Teach them not to respond.
  • Encourage them to show you or a trusted adult right away.
  • Meet with school administrators to discuss a plan of action.
  • Know the school's bullying/cyberbullying policy.
    Do not delete messages; they may be needed to take legal action
  • Report any online harassment that is sexual in nature to
Slide five - Sexting


Sexting is sharing and receiving sexually explicit messages and nude or partially nude images via text message or through an app. Though sexting can be common during sexual development, it is illegal. There are also risks, particularly sextortion.

"*In Florida, sexting between juveniles is against the law and can lead to civil and/or criminal penalties."


Sextortion is a type of blackmail used by others to acquire sexual content from the child, coerce them into engaging in sexual activity or obtain money from the child. Sixty percent of the time, the blackmailer is known to the victim. They are often current or former romantic partners. Other times, the victim met the offender online.

Slide six - Spot the red flags

Spot The Red Flags
A child who is experiencing online enticement may be:

  • Spending more time online
  • Getting upset when they are not allowed on their device
  • Taking extra steps to conceal what they are doing online
  • Receiving gifts from people you do not know

Be a trusted adult. When children approach you with safety concerns, it is important to take them seriously, even with seemingly minor issues. By listening closely and treating the matter thoughtfully, you help build confidence in children that they can trust you to help them when in trouble.

Don't pull the plug. If children fear you will take away their internet access or their cellphone because they made a mistake online, it may cause them not to come to you for help. Instead, talk to them about protecting themselves and respecting others online.

How To Protect Your Kids Online
Set some ground rules. Establish clear guidelines (i.e., what types of sites kids can visit, what apps they can download and when they can have access to electronics). Consider blackout periods that require disconnection.
Be proactive. Teach your kids to spot common tricks used by online offenders. Common tactics include:

  • Developing a rapport with the child through compliments and supportive behaviors such as "liking" their online posts
  • Engaging the child in sexual conversation/role-play as a grooming method
  • Sending unprompted sexually explicit images of themselves
  • Receiving gifts from people you do not know
  • Offering incentives

Have controls in place. Installing monitoring software does not guarantee your child will be safe online. Time, attention and active conversation are the best tools to protect them.