Media Press Release

DHS Launches Know2Protect™ Public Awareness Campaign to Combat Online Child Exploitation and Abuse With Many Public and Private Sector Partners, including the USOPC, Google, Meta, Snap, Roblox, NASCAR, Boy Scouts of America, National Police Athletic League, and More


There Were Over 36 Million Reports of Suspected Child Sexual Exploitation in 2023, More Than Twice the Number Reported in 2019

Department’s New Campaign to Provide Young People, Parents, Community Leaders, and Educators with Resources to Better Prevent and Educate Themselves on These Crimes

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Know2Protect, Together We Can Stop Online Child Exploitation™, a first-of-its-kind national public awareness campaign that brings together public and private sector partners. Key partners include high-profile technology companies, national and international sports leagues, youth-serving organizations and nonprofits, and other private sector partners to raise awareness of this heinous and growing crime and how to keep children safe. Through Know2Protect, DHS and its partners will educate and empower young people, parents, and trusted adults on ways to prevent and combat exploitation and abuse both on and offline, explain how to report incidents of these crimes, and offer support resources for victims and survivors of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Online child exploitation and abuse is reaching epidemic proportions and threatens the safety of children globally. In 2023, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received more than 36 million CyberTipline® reports of suspected online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA), a 360% increase over the number of reports received 10 years ago. According to the 2023 WeProtect Global Threat Assessment, the volume of child sexual abuse material has increased globally by 87% over the past five years.

“All of us, working together, must protect our children from the heinous and growing crime of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The tragic reality is that, as young people spend more time online, predators around the world increasingly target them through manipulation and deceit,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Know2Protect is a first-of-its-kind national initiative to raise public awareness and prevent these horrific crimes from happening in the first place. Public-private partnerships and targeted trainings are essential to raising awareness and educating the public; identifying, protecting, and supporting victims; and bringing perpetrators to justice. By partnering with national sports leagues, youth-serving organizations, and gaming, technology, and other private sector organizations, Know2Protect will help educate the public, save lives, and prevent tragedies.”

Know2Protect is the first federal government campaign focused on education and prevention of online CSEA. The campaign’s mission is to mobilize young people, parents, educators, and community leaders to learn the signs of this crime, what they can do to prevent it, how to report it to law enforcement, and how they can support survivors. The website, launching today, is being advertised in 25 media markets and online through digital and physical billboards, posters, as well as displays across the country. The campaign will reach millions of Americans where they are and will disseminate resources to educate the public about this crime — including a portal specifically for kids ages 10 and older — and empower them with resources and tools for people to protect themselves and others against online CSEA.

To reflect the importance of a unified commitment to combat the dramatic and alarming increase of online child sexual exploitation and abuse, today DHS is announcing partners from across society – from social media and technology companies to sporting leagues and youth-serving organizations – that have already joined Know2Protect in its important mission. More partners will join the campaign in the coming months.

“The best way to keep kids safe online is to provide helpful information where they are: on social media and online gaming platforms, and through clubs, sporting events, and organizations. By partnering with a range of companies to raise awareness and disseminate educational messaging, we are keeping kids safe from online predators,” said Know2Protect Campaign Director Kate Kennedy. “We are grateful for all of our partners who share a commitment to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse and keep children safe as a result.”

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has been working with the Department on the development of Know2Protect assets and concepts since its inception. NCMEC subject matter experts and its survivor network reviewed campaign materials to ensure they were appropriate and educational for all audiences.

“Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse is a growing global concern, and NCMEC is at the forefront of addressing it. The exponential rise in CSEA within the past year underscores the urgency of our mission,” said NCMEC Chief Operating Officer Derrick Driscoll. “NCMEC applauds any initiative or governmental effort aimed at raising awareness about this crime. The Know2Protect campaign helps to do just that. Collaborating globally is crucial to prevent these crimes from happening and families and children should know they are not alone in this fight.”

Google LLC is donating ad credits for Google display, YouTube, and Google Search, which will bolster the reach of the campaign in order to educate as many young people, parents, educators, and community leaders as possible on the signs of child exploitation and abuse and how to keep yourself and others safe both on and offline.

“We are proud to donate Search and YouTube ads to support the DHS’ campaign raising awareness on the issue of child sexual abuse and exploitation online, including sextortion,” said Senior Director Annie Lewin. “Through our broader child safety work, we know how impactful it can be to provide young people and parents with information and tools on how to report these crimes and find resources. By donating ads, we hope to help the DHS reach a wider audience and further educate the public on this timely and urgent issue.”

Intel Corporation is inviting Know2Protect staff to deliver awareness trainings to their staff yearly.

“Intel is proud to support the Know2Protect campaign through education of our employee base to amplify awareness and enable parents and their families to stay safe online,” said Intel Corporate Board Member of NCMEC and Intel Chief Product Sustainability Officer Jen Huffstetler.

Meta Platforms, Inc. will support the DHS to promote the Know2Protect campaign on Facebook and Instagram, raise awareness about these crimes and how to recognize them, and direct people to information and resources that can support them.

“Child exploitation is horrific. We work aggressively to fight the criminals behind it, from the new tools we announced just last week to protect teens from financial sextortion, to supporting law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting offenders,” said Meta’s Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis. “We’re pleased to support the Department of Homeland Security in its campaign, which will raise awareness of these crimes, help parents and teens spot potential risks, and direct them to support.”

Roblox Corporation will display in-game billboard advertisements for users of its online platform. These advertisements will share helpful tips for gamers on internet safety and best practices. In the future, Roblox will work with Know2Protect to develop in-game immersive experiences, such as building characters from the campaign’s iGuardian training program and Know2Protect badges for Roblox users.

“Roblox is built on a foundation of safety and civility, and we are proud to support the Know2Protect campaign,” said Roblox Vice President of Civility Tami Bhaumik. “By educating and empowering people with the knowledge and tools to prevent harm, collectively, we will be in a stronger position to prevent abuse from happening. Sometimes these are difficult issues to talk about, which makes resources and tools all the more important. We are honored to be part of the solution to amplify this important campaign.”

Snap Inc., Know2Protect’s first official partner, is providing Know2Protect in-platform ad credits on its Snapchat platform and conducting research to gauge Snapchatters’ awareness and familiarity with a variety of sexual-related online risks. In the United States, more than 100 million people use Snapchat to communicate with their friends and family, including more than 20 million teenagers. In addition, Snap will promote the Know2Protect website on its dedicated online Privacy and Safety and Parents Hubs.

“These horrific crimes can’t be ignored – they need to be discussed in the halls of government, at boardroom tables and at kitchen tables. Young people need to be attuned to online sexual risks, and adults need to understand the issues so they can help young people in crisis,” said Snap Inc Global Head of Platform Safety Jacqueline Beauchere. “That’s why Snap is honored to be a founding partner of Know2Protect, and to help share educational resources with the millions of teens who use our app daily to communicate.”

Major League Baseball (MLB), through their MLB Together CSR platform, will display Know2Protect physical advertisement collateral, such as posters, at the host venue for 2024 MLB All-Star Week in July, and also list Know2Protect on as a trusted youth safety resource for players and families to access.

“MLB is proud to join the Know2Protect awareness campaign to address this important issue affecting far too many families in our world,” said Major League Baseball Vice President of Social Responsibility April Brown. “Our Midsummer Classic provides an outstanding platform, through our MLB Together initiative, to share this critical information with families across the country.”

Major League Soccer (MLS) will highlight the campaign during the July 24, 2024 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.

“The mission of Know2Protect to keep children safe from online exploitation is vitally important at this time, and Major League Soccer considers it an honor to work with the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Mayorkas, and the NCMEC on this global campaign,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We are dedicated to using the platforms of our league and 30 clubs to share the resources and guidance of Know2Protect, and to do everything in our power to assist in the fight against the abhorrent crime of child exploitation.”

NASCAR will display Know2Protect promotional assets and materials during races around the country.

“NASCAR is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help raise awareness of its important Know2Protect initiative,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “The DHS has been a strong partner to NASCAR over the years, and we’re honored to have been asked to take part in this vital program that protects children throughout this great country.”

The National Football League (NFL) will work to amplify the Know2Protect campaign by raising awareness among clubs and players, and running Know2Protect public service announcements on various platforms, including NFL Media.

“Keeping our children safe is something we can all agree on, and the NFL is proud to support DHS’ efforts to stop online abuse and exploitation,” said NFL Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer Cathy Lanier. “We commit to using the league’s platform to raise awareness about this real and growing threat, and to highlight a national campaign to protect young people from predators and other bad actors.”

The National Hockey League (NHL) will display advertisements and host in-person events at its games, while also amplifying campaign messaging on its network and among its various social media platforms.

“The National Hockey League is proud to support this vital initiative and contribute to the protection of our nation’s youth and most vulnerable,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Security Officer Jared Maples.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) will work with Know2Protect to provide virtual presentations to Team USA athletes and parents on the threat of online CSEA and the preventative strategies they can implement to keep all Team USA Athletes safe.

“Keeping Team USA athletes safe where they live, train and compete is the USOPC’s top priority. As part of that effort, educating athletes and their support communities is an essential step in prevention,” said USOPC Senior Vice President and Chief of Security & Athlete Services Nicole Deal. “We are happy to partner with Know2Protect as an important part of our holistic commitment to creating safe environments and providing more resources for Team USA athletes.”

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will collaborate with Know2Protect to promote knowledge sharing and empowerment for youth and parents. The BSA will also facilitate Project iGuardian presentations for Scouts and parents and explore developing a co-branded BSA patch in recognition of taking an in-person Project iGuardian training at the local or national level.

“Safeguarding our Scouts so that we can prevent harm will always be our most important mission, and that includes their online safety,” said Boy Scouts of America President and CEO Roger Krone. “Through this collaboration with DHS, Scouting will make the Know2Protect resources available to empower more than a million youth members and adult volunteers, further enhancing our education and training initiatives to help ensure that our Scouts, leaders, and their families remain safe from online dangers.”

National Police Athletic League (National PAL) will host Know2Protect representatives to train its members across the nation at both the National PAL Conference and Youth Mentoring Summit. National PAL will also amplify campaign resources in its webpage and on social media platforms monthly.  National PAL is committed to protecting the youth at all costs and greatly supports this effort put forth by the Department of Homeland Security.

“National PAL is extremely excited and honored to partner with the Department of Homeland Security on the Know2Protect campaign. Know2Protect provides another tool for youth, parents, educators, coaches etc. to keep our youth safe from online predators,” said National PAL Board President Christopher Hill. “Today, National PAL will be rolling out the K2P campaign to all of our member chapters immediately to ensure that we are further prepared to protect our youth at all levels! We will make sure our youth are aware that no matter the threat, the iGuardians are there to support and protect them!”

Law enforcement officials across the country are joining the campaign, including the National Fusion Center Association, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and Small & Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association. These law enforcement associations have committed to partnering with the campaign to share information and resources with their members and the communities that they serve; amplify the tools through their communication platforms and channels; and amongst other activities, collaborate with the Department moving forward to further develop training programs for state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus law enforcement across the country.

“The National Fusion Center Association (NFCA) is proud to be a partner with the Know2Protect Campaign. Our National Network of 80 State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers, was built on the foundation of helping to protect America through threat detection, criminal intelligence analysis, and information sharing,” said NFCA President Mike Sena. “We are honored to be working with the Know2Protect Campaign in its effort to empower children, teens, parents, trusted adults, and policymakers to prevent and combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Our children are one of the most vulnerable members of our society. We must do all we can to fight those who would exploit and take advantage of them,” said IACLEA Executive Director Paul Cell. “International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) stands united and in support of the work K2P is doing to insure our children are educated on the dangers of online predators and how they can identify when they are being targeted.”

“The Small and Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association (SRLEEA) wholeheartedly endorses the DHS's Know2Protectcampaign, highlighting its vital role in smaller, rural, and tribal communities. These areas often encounter increased risks due to scarce resources, and this initiative is crucial for providing necessary awareness and tools to combat online child exploitation. The impact of Know2Protect in empowering our communities and law enforcement to protect our most vulnerable from these evolving threats is invaluable," said Chair of the SRLEEA Human Trafficking Committee Sheriff Kim Stewart.

Know2Protect is the latest example of DHS’s ongoing efforts to address online child sexual exploitation and abuse and comes after the Department’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review added combating crimes of exploitation and protecting victims as a sixth mission area in April 2023. Learn more about recent DHS efforts to combat child exploitation and abuse.

Know2Protect will highlight the whole of DHS efforts to combat online CSEA, including:

  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which serves as the principal investigative arm of DHS and protects the public from crimes of victimization, including child sexual exploitation. HSI works to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute offenders and identify, protect and support victims. HSI also prevents transnational child sexual abuse, including those who travel internationally to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors. HSI oversees Know2Protect and Project iGuardian, Know2Protect’s educational program to teach the public about the ongoing threats children and teens face from online predators.

  • The U.S. Secret Service supports the protection of minors from CSEA through advanced investigative and forensic support to state and local law enforcement agencies, such as providing support for polygraphs of suspected perpetrators, advanced analysis of photo or video evidence, and assistance on cases related to missing and exploited children. The U.S. Secret Service’s Childhood Smart Program, created in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, educates parents, children, and teens about internet and personal safety.

  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) administers, a collaborative, interagency website that provides schools and districts with actionable recommendations to create safe and supportive environments for students and educators. The site is an access point for information, resources, guidance, and evidence-based practices on a range of school safety topics, including online exploitation.

  • The DHS Science and Technology Directorate supports DHS offices by providing technical and scientific expertise. It also researches, develops, and deploys leading-edge forensic tools and technologies.

The campaign will continue to spread prevention and awareness messaging through partnerships, a robust social media presence, and training and outreach to schools and communities through age-appropriate educational presentations provided by agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service.

To demonstrate the Department’s unified focus on combating cybercrimes, Secretary Mayorkas redesignated the HSI Cyber Crimes Center as the DHS Cyber Crimes Center (DHS C3), strengthening the Department-wide effort to combat cyber-related crimes and online CSEA. The Department works alongside our U.S. and international government partners to raise awareness of these threats, investigate, apprehend, and prosecute offenders, and to identify, protect, and support victims. The entire Biden-Harris Administration has identified online child safety and security as a top priority, creating the White House Online Harassment and Abuse Task Force, the Kids Online Health and Safety Task Force, and the Australia-U.S. Joint Council on Combatting Online Child Sexual Exploitation, all of which the Department plays a leading role.

The Department’s participation in multilateral partnerships, such as the Five Country Ministerial, has led to important initiatives such as the development of the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation, also endorsed by the G7 foreign ministers, and the Children Online Protection Lab, led by France, which the United States participates as a member of the Executive Committee, all of which are crucial in combating this borderless crime.

  • Contact your local, state, campus, or tribal law enforcement officials directly. Call 911 in an emergency.

  • If you suspect a child has been abducted or faces imminent danger, contact your local police and the NCMEC tip line at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

  • If you suspect a child might be a victim of online sexual exploitation, call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423 and report it to NCMEC’s CyberTipline

Know2Protect is managed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Crimes Center. To learn more about the campaign or to request a presentation tailored for your community, please visit