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Parents Should Talk With Kids About Internet Safety

Last week, the New Jersey school districts of Ridgewood, Allendale, Glen Rock, and Midland Park sponsored a presentation by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office (BCPO) on how parents can better keep their kids safe from sexual predators on the Internet. The cyber-safety presentation gave tips to parents on how to protect their child's identity online and how to talk to their children about being safe online. The presenters urged parents to be involved in their children's lives and to know what they are up to online.

Two detectives with the BCPO Computer Crimes Task Force spoke with the parents. They warned parents to be aware that many people may be assuming different identities online and approaching their children sexually. According to the detectives, one in five children is approached sexually on the Internet. Part of their job involves posing as minors in Internet chat rooms in order to catch sexual predators. They said that it doesn't matter if the chat room is for religion or sports, it often doesn't take long to find someone who will sexually solicit a minor.

The detectives advised parents to do their best to keep up with new technology to have a better idea of what their kids are participating in online. He said parents should talk with their children about what kinds of things they should and shouldn't share on the Internet, and said that kids should reveal as little personal information as possible. Kids should also be aware of personal information they may be inadvertently sharing, such as through posting a photo in which they are wearing a t-shirt with the name of their school. Parents should also instill self-respect in kids and teach them to value privacy and dignity.


Districts host presentation on Internet safety (

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