District attorney’s office offers back-to-school safety advice – Salisbury Post
With the school year back on track, here are some safety tips from Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook:
• Internet and digital images: Technology has advanced over the past decade when most parents and children have cell phones capable of accessing the Internet and taking pictures. Popular sites for kids to connect with others include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Kik, WhatsApp, Discord, and Tumblr. Teens often try new apps that parents may not be familiar with.
Parents should talk with their children about the dangers of taking sexual pictures and / or sharing them with others. Once a photo is shared with others, it can be posted on websites or even edited. Internet predators are sophisticated and prey on our children. Be proactive in monitoring your child’s text messages, emails, photographs, internet activity and cell phones.
For more information on how to protect your family from inappropriate websites, including parental controls to minimize a child’s access to certain websites: opendns.com/home-internet-security.
Internet harassment: Bullying can quickly get out of hand and negatively affect a child emotionally, physically and mentally. What should you do if you think your child is being bullied on the Internet or at school? Immediately contact the school administration and the police. Visit www.netsmartz.org for online safety tools for educators, parents and children. Additional resources on this topic include: stopbullying.gov and dpi.nc.gov/districts-schools/district-operations/center-safer-schools/bullying-prevention.
Sex offenders: It is important for families to know the whereabouts of a registered sex offender in their community. Fortunately, this information is easily accessible. Resources available to parents include:
- The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry: sexoffender.ncsbi.gov.
- Parents can sign up to receive email alerts when a sex offender registers at an address near your home or at your child’s school: registration.ncsbi.gov.
- Parents can receive phone alerts by calling 1-877-627-2826 or visiting ncsavan.org.
- A sex offender registry app is available for Apple and Android users: sexoffender.ncsbi.gov.
Additional resources: For issues related to cell phones, cyberbullying, chat rooms, computer harassment, file sharing, gaming, internet safety, webcams, predators, social media, and sexting: netsmartz.org and ncdoj.gov/internet-safety/protect-kids-on-the-internet.
SPK UP NC is a school safety program for students that allows them to send anonymous advice on school safety issues from an app they can download to their phone, iPad, Macbook or other mobile technology and Web: staysafespeakup.app.