Today’s children live in an Internet world. As parents, we may not always understand the latest technology or trends. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t able to keep our kids safe. April and May are Internet Safety and Bullying Awareness Months at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
I made a commitment to educating the community about cyber and online crimes. This past year, prosecutors spoke to more than 20,000 students and 2,500 parents and teachers about Internet Safety and cyberbullying. In partnership with the New York City Department of Education, prosecutors typically go to public, private and parochial schools and day camps in Brooklyn approximately three times a week throughout the year to educate children on Internet safety.
If you have any questions or you wish to have my staff make a presentation to your school or PTA, please contact Frank Laghezza, my Special Counsel to the Schools, at 718-250-3073.
Parents have a very important role in helping to ensure their children’s safety on the Internet. I would like to share with you some simple things you can do to keep your children safe.
1. Keep the computer in a common family room, not in your child’s bedroom.
2. Spend time with your child online. Learn about their favorite online destinations.
3. Make sure your child understands not to give out personal information on Web sites, chat rooms or social networking sites.
4. Talk to your children about what to do if they see something that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused. Show them how to turn off the monitor. Emphasize that it is not their fault if they see something upsetting, and remind them to tell a trusted adult about what they have seen.
5. If someone is engaging in illegal activity online, such as threatening your child’s safety or exposing him/her to unnecessary danger, do not erase the offensive material - Report it to the police as soon as possible.
Charles J. Hynes