Resilience. The residents of Broward County, the people of West Park, and the deputies serving your community have shown resilience in 2020. As a community, we have continued to demonstrate a willingness to adapt to, and overcome, the obstacles placed before us. The children in our neighborhoods have likewise shown an ability to be flexible.
We see this most clearly as they enter this schoolyear ready to “log in, launch and learn” (BCPS). Despite the challenges presented by moving to a predominately eLearning platform, we trust the kids will have a productive year of education, as we know both teacher and parent remain committed to their success.
On that note, from a law enforcement and safety perspective, it is important for each family to recognize the increase of internet usage has inherent dangers. Predators utilize the internet to lure children to chat rooms; to expose them to inappropriate content; or to discover with ill intent personal identifying information (PII). It will be important for parents to discuss these dangers with their children and to ensure proper safety precautions are in place.
General Internet Safety Tips For Parents:
• Learn everything you can about the Internet. Have your children show you the sites they visit, learn chat room lingo and acronyms that chatters use (e.g. like POS for “Parent Over Shoulder”). Know what other Internet functionality your child may have access to like instant messaging, chat, e-mail and other text messaging. Visit http://www.cybertipline.com/ for a quick lesson.
• Establish approved Internet time and territory. Make it clear to children what sites they can and cannot visit, what hours they may use Internet, and with whom they may communicate.
• Keep the computer in a common area of the home, such as a living room or family room, where adults can easily monitor online activity.
• Discuss the importance of telling you or a trusted adult if something ever makes your child or teen feel scared, uncomfortable or confused while online.
• Consider safeguarding options like site blocking, filtering and monitoring. Enter these keywords into any search engine to learn more about software and browser settings that can help you control where children and teens go online. Know how to set parental controls and check the browser’s history files.
• Show your children how to turn off the monitor when something makes them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused.
• Make sure you are aware of any other places your child may be using the Internet, such as a friend’s house or the library.
• Talk to your children about what personal information is and why they should never give it out.
Additional helpful information can be found at these trusted sites:
As a community, we each play a part in protecting and ensuring the safety of every person.
Let us continue to bond together this year, adapting to overcome each challenge. Doing so will not only make us stronger and wiser, but it keeps us focused on obtaining the positive goal of a vibrant, healthy community. Remember, the BSO team is here to assist you and your loved ones whenever needed.
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