Many children are already technological savvy and after this holiday season, it’s likely many are enjoying their new internet connected devices, which is why the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department would like parents to remember the online dangers children and adolescents can be susceptible to. Detective Jesse Sperberg says it all comes down to parents watching their children.
“We as parents can’t use these devices as something to keep them busy so we can have time to ourselves.”
Sperburg says there are some private messaging apps, such as Snapchat and Kik messager, that could be harmful for young children in the community and all over the country. He ads it’s unfortunate because these apps may seem harmless, but teens and adolescents can really face trouble.
“If we get presented with a case of sexting where kids are exchanging inappropriate pictures with each other, we have to treat those cases as Child Pornography” said Sperberg. The detective added that the devices will get confiscated if that is the case. “Those devices cost hundreds of dollars, and they are lost if those images are on the device.”
For parents and grandparents who may find themselves lost when it comes to the latest technologies that kids use today, Detective Sperberg says the Sheriff’s Department is willing to help.
“If there is a group that would like us to do a presentation about internet safety, we are happy to do that.” Sperberg says parents can do a lot themselves. “Just go online and search for internet safetly, and do research on the apps that your kids have access to.”
One useful website parents can benefit from is called connectsafely.org, says Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Rekoske.
“It gives you the ability to find the platform that your kids are using and they help parents at least get up to speed to let them know what their kids can be doing and how they can protect themselves.
Staying up to date with technology can be challenging for adults, but by communicating effectively and making a small commitment to learn, they can help keep their child safe while online.