Staying Safe and Reputable Online

The innovation and expansion of technology and the Internet have become a huge part of modern society. But we have to remember to be safe and responsible online as well – especially when kids have easy access. 

Detective Chris Randall with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office tells us having an open line of communication with kids and their online activity is important in keeping them cyber-safe. Randall says “parents need to be able to observe behaviors. If you walk in the room and you child immediately minimizes the window on the computer or turns off their phone, what are they up to? So establish that dialogue. Don’t yell at them because kids aren’t going to talk if you yell at them, but establish that dialogue and talk about the dangers that exist.”

Randall also emphasizes for parents to “just establish a really good relationship and communication with your
child in regards to social media use. Discuss things like not posting very
personal information such as their passwords or cell phone numbers or home
address. Parents really really need to be aware.”

He also touched on the repercussions of sending inappropriate images or comments via text or social media, comparing it to recent events involving Brewers’ pitcher Josh Hader. Randall tells us “that’s the scary thing. You talk about what happened when Hader was
17 years old – once you put it out there, it’s probably out there forever.
Self-production pictures, you might think it’s an innocent picture that the
child sends to their boyfriend or girlfriend and soon it’s being traded at
school. It doesn’t take much.”