8 Tips to Keep Children Safe Online
Students in our area have been out of school for nearly a month at this point. Our school systems have done a wonderful job providing students with assignments that are often accessed through the Internet. While this has been amazing for distance learning, it places some students online much more than ever before.
Children are also picking up their devices and gaming consoles more for fun and games as well.
The more time children spend online, the greater care we need to take to be sure they are safe when on the Internet.
“School-based programs for learning are largely within closed systems that do not let outsiders in,” Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter said. “But the devices children may use to access those programs, such as computers, tablets or phones, can easily access the outside world.”
Sheriff Larpenter offers the following advice to parents:
- Get to know how children access their online school assignments
- Just as you have taught your children to cross the street safely, be sure to teach them Internet safety.
- Remember that popular video game consoles, such as X-Box and PlayStation, have features that can result in your child talking with strangers without you knowing it.
- If communication your child has had raises concerns, talk with the child about it.
Louisiana State Police also shares the concern that the increased unfettered access has led to amplified opportunities for online child predators.
Troopers from the LSP Special Victims Unit recommend the following:
- Communicate with your children the importance of healthy online activity
- Look for changes in your child’s behavior
- Familiarize yourself with the applications your children are using and verify your children know who they are communicating with
- Research online monitoring applications to determine if these platforms would better allow you to monitor your child’s online activity across multiple platforms.
The LSP Special Victims Unit works to rescue and seek justice for the victims of crimes involving the exploitation of children and the trafficking of humans for sex or labor. The public plays an important role in identifying suspects accused of these crimes, and is urged to report criminal or suspicious activity. The Louisiana State Police online reporting system is available to the public through an anonymous reporting form that is submitted to the appropriate investigators. The form can be found by visiting http://la-safe.org/ and clicking on the “Suspicious Activity” link.
Locally, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office has detectives and deputies with special training who can help if a problem arises. Don’t hesitate to call 985-876-2500 if you have questions.