Sheriff's Office to teach parents, guardians how to keep kids safe online
by Amanda Ryker
Mar 18, 2012 | 898 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Teenagers by nature may not always be the easiest to control or monitor for many parents, especially with their constant connection to the Internet through cell phones and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Recognizing the dangers of the cyber world, the Bartow County Sheriff's Office will be conducting a cybersafety presentation for parents and guardians to learn about recent trends and how to keep their children safe online.

"The Sheriff's Office is an affiliate of the GBI's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force," BCSO Investigator Hollie McKamey said. "Our investigators that work ICAC are very interested in educating parents about what their children are possibly doing while online."

To be held Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, representatives from the BCSO plan to discuss several topics and means of communication from social media sites to video game connections.

"We speak to many parents during the course of our investigations that are unaware that their children are even online or what they may be doing while they are connected to the Internet," McKamey said. "This class is intended to educate parents about today's trends regarding Internet usage and how to monitor their child's safety while they are online."

Planned topics for discussion include social networking, cyber bullying, Internet scams, online predators and technology trends. The Internet can easily be accessed through cell phones, hand-held portable gaming devices -- such as the popular Nintendo DS or the newly released Playstation Vita -- as well as iPods connected to free Wireless Internet hot spots along with home computers and gaming consoles like the Xbox and Playstation 3.

Tuesday's class, McKamey said, is only for parents, guardians and/or grandparents.

"It is intended to inform parents about what their children may be doing online and how to place safeguards on their child's online activities," McKamey said.

A separate class will be held at a future date for children in the kindergarten through grade 12 age-ranges to discuss the fundamentals of how to protect themselves online.

Attendees of Tuesday's class will receive a CD containing information discussed during the presentation.

Questions regarding this class, or any classes residents may wish to have the Sheriff's Office present in the future, should contact McKamey at 770-382-5050 ext. 6034 or holliemckamey@bartow.org.