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At work, my co-workers could call me (and they probably do) ‘a dinosaur’ when it comes to a lot of activity on all the social media the newspaper offers in this high-tech, communications world. It takes some time to keep updates on Facebook, Twitter, Textcaster and all the items featured at www.lincolncountyjournal.com. After decades in print media (with black ink in my veins), the new world of communications is hard to grasp.
However, whether you are a dinosaur or even the more sophisticated computer user, it can be a great tool but it has its downside as well. How easily a perpetrator can gain access to our children is startling.
I attended a Cyber Crime presentation last week which has been developed through the Lincoln County schools and Prosecuting Attorney Leah Wommack Askey’s office. They call it Proactive Partnership. Each month, a different topic will be selected to educate students and promote safety and crime prevention.
Parents, keep a close eye on your child and the usage of their cell phone and any access through the Internet. For example, a child can come across sexual material, sexual predators, cyberbulling, pornography and violence. Troy PD officer Anthony Stewart, a member of the St. Charles County Cyber Crime Unit, presented a ‘powerful’ power point presentation on the crimes this highly trained unit has investigated. He explained through a teen’s ‘page’ how information is gleaned and then how it is used to identify and eventually be used to make physical contact with an underage child. He told of being careful when placing a photograph on the computer. A good rule is never to put a photo on the web that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.
The effort to be ‘proactive’ and provide a resource to help children is, I believe, a great effort by leaders and schools which go beyond the classroom.
By Bob Simmons