GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – It is the time of year for students to hit the books and for parents to brush up on their cyber space skills.
According to law enforcement, online predators are secretly contacting kids each day through phone apps.
The experts said it is time for parents to get involved in what their children are looking at. Find out which apps they’re using, how they work and whether kids are talking with people or being cyber bullied.
Police departments and industry experts warning parents at the start of this school year to pay attention to what their children are doing on the internet.
“So as a parent you can’t just hand them a device with no instructions.” said Rick Floyd, Greenville County School District Information Security team.
Rick Floyd works with the Greenville County school system. He speaks to groups, schools and concerned parents about children and phone APPS.
The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office created a chart showing how apps work and the hidden dangers of certain ones. After a major online predator and human trafficking sting. Local law enforcement said parents have the power.
“Take a look at the privacy settings and change those as appropriate, they can block the location services, they can limit the types of apps and when the app is downloaded on the phone,” Greenville Police Department Public Information Officer Donny Porter said.
Floyd said kids use apps like Snapchat to share photos that eventually disappear and Tik Tok to share short videos.
Each app usually has a chat room or messaging feature, where people can contact a child without the parents knowledge and predators are reaching out sooner than you think.
“Younger and younger children are being contacted by these Internet predators so we don’t want to wait until fifth grade anymore or even third and fourth grade we’re going to start as young as we can,” Floyd said.
Officials encourage parents to be proactive by activating parental settings and turning off the locator feature.
Cyber experts suggest setting ground rules for your children and also setting consequences for breaking those rules. It’s just a matter of keeping everyone safe.
If anyone is interested in an Internet Safety Presentation, please contact Rick Floyd. He has age appropriate presentations from second-grade students thru adults.
Internet Safety Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Rick-Floyds-Internet-SafetySecurity-1208338992573473/
Rick Floyd, Greenville County School District Internet Safety Education Coordinator | Education Technology Services W: 864-355-7448 C: 864-304-3553 Fax: 864-355-7599 email@example.com
Information Security Webpage: https://sites.google.com/greenvilleschools.us/infosec/home