Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office reminds parents to monitor children online

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:34 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Mo. (KY3) - The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office says children are vulnerable to online crimes.

“There are so many different platforms kids can get involved in online,” Sheriff Brad DeLay from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office says. “They’re getting a lot of positive feedback, and unfortunately, a lot of this positive feedback is sadly coming from criminals.”

He says that parents must ensure their kids know the dangers online. It’s a conversation that can be difficult to have, but he says it’s important.

“Quite frankly, you just need to be blunt about it,” Sheriff DeLay says. “At some point, you hope that the message sinks into children. They have to understand that you’re doing it because you love them.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has the following tips for parents on keeping their children safe online:

  • Be involved - supervise your child’s online activities while teaching them good computer habits (consider online activities you can work on together).
  • Consider implementing parental controls - restrict or allow certain websites to be viewed on your computer using a password (you can set some parental controls within your browser).
  • Keep lines of communication open - let your child know they can approach you with questions or concerns about behaviors or problems they may have encountered online.
  • Keep your computer in an open area - easily monitor your child’s computer activity in a high-traffic area.
  • Monitor computer activity - be aware of what your child is doing online (which websites they are visiting, who/what they are emailing, etc.).
  • Set rules and warn about dangers - ensure your child is aware of the boundaries of what they are allowed to do on the computer (boundaries should be appropriate for the child’s age, knowledge, and maturity).

Sheriff DeLay says that no one is untouchable when it comes to these sort of crimes, which he says makes the internet so powerful.

”The worst thing that I hear [in] any type of situation is that we never thought this was going to be something we’d have to deal with,” he says. “The fact is we do deal with it on a daily basis. It can happen here. It does happen here.”

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