April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // April 10, 2014
sheriff wayne ivey's weekly crime tip
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – As April is “National Child Abuse Prevention Month,” I thought we would focus this week’s Crime Prevention Tip on Computer Safety with our children.
As we all know too well, today’s criminals can reach our children through the internet, social media, and even texting. Through the use of these devices, bad people with very bad intentions are invited into our homes.
That is exactly why it is so important for parents to keep a constant vigil over their children’s electronic actions and friendships so that we can do everything we can to protect them.
Below is a list of important steps for parents to consider in an effort to fully protect their children from on-line predators.
NEVER ALLOW UNSUPERVISED WIFI ACCESS
Never allow your children to have wifi or internet access in their bedrooms where they can be used privately.
While today’s children often use laptops, smartphones and tablets to communicate, the safest measure available to protect them is to only allow them to do so in a common area where their interactions with others can be monitored.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself why you always lock the door to your home. The obvious answer is because you would never let a stranger into your home, so you certainly would never let a stranger into your child’s room which is exactly what the internet does.
ROUTINELY CHECK YOUR CHILD’S ACTIVITIES
Routinely and openly check all of your child’s internet activities and social media accounts. If you child is conversing with someone you don’t know then the best protective measure is to delete the account and restrict them from communicating with that person again. Use the same protective actions that would be used if your child asked to go to the movie with someone you never met or that you did not know.
DISCUSS DANGERS OF POSTING INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
• Explain to your child that anything they post on the internet can be retrieved even if they try to delete it.
Explain to your child that anything they post on the internet can be retrieved even if they try to delete it. Unfortunately, children today think it is okay to post information and photographs, but never consider the dangers of doing so. Once a parcel of information or photograph is posted there is never a way to completely recover the information.
Unfortunately, children today think it is okay to post information and photographs, but never consider the dangers of doing so. Once a parcel of information or photograph is posted there is never a way to completely recover the information.
Information that can have a life long impact on your child and your family. The best way to focus on this is to discuss with your child the importance of never sending anything on the internet that they would not be proud to share with the family.
• Make sure to discuss with your child that what they post on social media sites today will be looked at in the future by recruiters, college admissions, and even employers. Human Resource departments of potential employers always check your social media sites and conduct internet searches of applicants before hiring.
While the above is just a brief list of steps that can be taken to protect our children from predators on the internet, one of the best protective measures is to always monitor their actions and openly discuss with them why you are so focused on protecting them.
Discussing protective measures with our children is one of the best ways we can protect them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.