Sheriff Wright encouraging cyber safety among locals
Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright is taking the opportunity to remind community residents and partners about the importance of taking cyber safety precautions to protect children.
“More than inspiring fear in our kids, we want to arm them with information. Information is power. When you talk to your children, warn them that there’s a chance someone could approach them online to get personal information, exchange pictures and/or meet in person, and it might be someone who feels like an online friend. It’s not the norm, and it’s not a reason to be afraid all the time. It’s simply a reason to be aware and know that if someone starts asking for personal information or talking about sexual things, it’s time to notify and ask an adult for help,” Wright said.
According to recent research conducted in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 82 percent of online sex-related crimes against children, the predator used the child’s social media profiles to gather information about them. Every day children post pictures and other private information that may seem innocuous to the untrained eye. Information such as sports teams’ names and schedules, children’s jersey numbers and other after school activities can be ammuni
tion that an online predator can use to find the child.
The number one thing that adults can do to protect their children is to vigilantly monitor their internet, particularly social media, contacts and activity.
Some other important suggestions made by the Federal Communications Commission include: • Never let children post photographs of them or their friends where people parents don’t know can access them. • Never let children post schedules for sports, vacations or other activities online. • Never let children give out any identifying information to someone they don’t personally know; this includes school information. • Never let children arrange to meet with someone that they have only interacted with online.
“A way that you can ensure that you are keeping track of these things is by maintaining an ongoing, open dialog with your children. Make sure they know that they can come to you with any concerns that they have about anything that has happened online. Also, make sure that you continue to discuss the importance of taking these cyber safety precautions with them,” Wright said.
More information about cyber safety precautions and danger indicators can be found on the FBI website at www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber or on the FCC website at www.transition.fcc.gov/cgb/internetsafety-tips.pdf.