Information for Parents
Dangers of Technology
What do you do if you discover that your child may be talking to someone online that you suspect could be an adult?
If you suspect that your child is communicating with a predator through technology, consider the following steps:
• Stop the communications immediately and take the technology being used away from the child until law enforcement is contacted.
• Do not contact the suspect or allow them to know parents are aware of communications.
• Note the location where the communications are taking place, such as Facebook, text messaging, apps, or gaming sites.
• Save, screen capture or print out the communications and/or pictures.
• Obtain your child’s password for signing onto their device.
• Obtain your child’s user name, email or screen name, along with the password for signing onto the site they are communicating.
• Note the user name, email or screen name of person communicating with your child.
• Do not delete the account, messages, or pictures.
Download or print Cheezo Technology Safety Flyer
The anonymity of technology allows predators to alter their own personas. In one instance in Jefferson County, Cheezo posed as a young girl and received a series of messages from a supposed 17-year-old boy. His language and the topics he discussed were convincing. When he attempted to set up a meeting with the girl the investigators suspicions were confirmed; the "boy" was a 60-year-old convicted sex offender.
The Sheriff's Office has investigated cases involving threats made through technology. In one case, a local boy posted photos of himself with his parents' gun collection. Classmates reported that he had made threats. Investigators arrested the boy and charged him with unlawful possession of a handgun by a juvenile.
The current law is designed for charging sexual predators, not youth, engaged in sexting. Children never think the trusted friend or boyfriend to whom the explicit photos were sent would ever pass them on, but they do. Once photos are sent from a cell phone, they are not retrievable from cyberspace. Even deleting the photo or video may not be enough.
Identity Theft & Burglary
Sharing too much personal information, such as full name and date of birth, may allow a criminal to steal identities. Technology such as Google Street View, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare are being used by burglars to target homes and businesses.
There is a massive amount of pornography available. Youth with access to porn may develop an unhealthy concept of sex. Extremes in sexual behavior depicted, or the sheer volume of images, can consume a youth until reality becomes a distant memory. Porn addiction, sexual aggression and violence toward women can develop from unrestricted access to porn.