Cyber safety and responsibility seems like a simple concept, but it’s become a problem of what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to post on the internet. Many people might not realize that what’s being posted on public domains such as Facebook and Twitter, will stay on there forever. It’s become complex issue to making sure people are informed to know how they can protect their privacy in a digitally dominated world.
Detective for the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Andy Anderson says if an individual posts information about themselves online, that information becomes public- and accessible to anyone who wants it. “There’s no way individuals can protect what’s on the internet from someone else downloading, so we need to be aware of that. If someone has a social networking site, like Facebook… and there’s a lot more social networking sites than Facebook, it just happens to be the largest,” he says.
Anderson says there’s no simple or quick solution to keeping your family or children safe from the consequences of using the internet, but says there are several things to keep in mind about cyber safety. “We find a lot more kids using the internet and cell phones…As families, before we give kids technology; we need to make sure they are capable of handling that technology. Frankly, most adults are not capable of handling technology responsibly, so we need to think about it before we give children and adolescents that technology. We need to know what their capabilities are and before we give them technology, we need to talk to them about the reasonableness and all the great things you can do with it, as well as the negative consequences,” he says. Anderson adds it’s important to teach the dangers and responsibility that goes along with using the technology.
He says another thing to look out for on the internet is computer scams or viruses, which could happen to anyone. Anderson says people need to think about whenever we use the internet through a cell phone or other mobile device, that there are a lot of scams to look out for. “Anytime if you see you’ve received any unsolicited message or pop-ups need to be looked at with caution,” he says.
AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:08)