In the wake of the high-profile homicide investigation into 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman's death, a teen murder suspect and a man from Indiana are now facing federal child pornography charges.

During a news conference to announce the indictment Tuesday, U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska Bryan Schroder warned parents, "For all the good the internet can do, it can be a very dark place and parents would be wise to monitor the activity of their children online."

Wednesday, KTVA met with the Anchorage Police Department's Cyber Crimes Unit to discuss actionable steps parents can take right now to keep their kids safe online.

Steps parents can take to protect their children online

1. Actively participate in your child's online activity.

2. Explain to your child what information is not safe to share online.

3. Take control of the device at random times to check on your child's activity.

4. Educate yourself on what you're looking at: apps, slang, emojis, etc.

5. If you find something questionable, don't lose your cool! Have a conversation with your child and contact police if you believe a crime has been committed.

Federal prosecutor discusses the dangers of fake online relationships

Additionally, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska Kyle Reardon sat down with KTVA to discuss the online world of "catfishing," the practice when a person lures someone into a relationship by means of a fictional internet persona.

Resources for parents

Family agreement - A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friends house.

FBI tips for parents - Get advice and information to help protect your children from dangers lurking in both the online and offline worlds.

Templates from Childnet International - Tool kits, worksheets and downloads on topics like digital resilience, healthy amounts of screen time, online harassment and learning emerging technology.

Personal safety tips from KidSmarz - Parent tips, teaching tools and videos to educate yourself and your kids about personal safety. 

Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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