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</head> Take the initiative: Protect your children
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Updated: 06/12/2013 08:01:36AM

Take the initiative: Protect your children

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Bartow Police Chief Joseph Hall

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We have discussed this before, but I think it is a good time to talk about it again. I am referring to Cyber-safety.

Today, everyone is linked socially through the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or some other social media site. Naturally, because everyone is doing it, so are the bad guys.

More than ever now, we hear about teenagers disappearing with someone they have met on the Internet, or Facebook. It is more common than it used to be … someone shows them a little attention, makes them feel special (basically manipulates them), and our child takes off.

The individuals that participate in such a connection are typically predators of some sort. Their intentions are not good, and usually illegal. Protect your young people from such behavior by keeping tabs on their accounts. Become familiar with their friends, their habits and who they are communicating with online.

You will probably be accused of being too strict or smothering them. Trust me, in the world we live in today, it is imperative they we protect our children. Teach them early the dos and don’ts of Internet safety, of using credit online, of posting photographs online or even being too trusting of people that you don’t know. In the world of connectivity without contact, it is more important now than ever to keep your guard up – especially in regards to our young people.

This summer, be safe, enjoy some well-earned time off and remember the choices that you make today could affect the rest of your life.

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