In today’s technological world full of social media profiles and various platforms, children can be victims of predators, or even their own actions in the digital world that surrounds everyone today.
For that reason, Perry County School District No. 32 and the Perryville Police Department partnered together to present “Protecting Kids in the Digital Age,” on Monday.
The event was led by J.J Gouldborne of CoxHealth Department of Public Safety, who has over 24 years of law enforcement experience as a patrol officer, investigator and supervisor. He is a firearms instructor and an I.T. and computer forensics specialist.
He led the discussion on topics such as protecting a child’s privacy online, child Identity theft, dangers on online video games, as well as dangerous apps and parental control tools.
“The biggest thing that I will tell you today is that a young child will tell anybody anything,” Goldbourne said. “So the best thing I can tell you to be active in your child’s life and make sure you know what they are doing on their social media platforms.”
Goldbourne told stories from his 24 years of law enforcement, some of them opened eyes as to just how much a child is in danger, especially when it comes to identity theft.
“I’ve seen 12-year olds with mortgages, I’ve even seen 10 year olds with car payments,” Goldbourne said. “A child that young should never have anything like that.”
Goldbourne noted three separate websites that provide links to free credit reports, which can be accessed one per year.
He noted that parents should access these reports as early as when the child turns 16 years of age.
“That way it gives you time to fix something wrong with the credit history,” Goldbourne said. “If there is something wrong and you don’t check and you go apply for student loans, then it can delay everything when it comes to that.”
Goldbourne also spoke on the dangers of Facebook and other social media sights when it comes to predators.
“If there is a person that you don’t know that friend request your child, make sure they are deleting and reporting them, because to put it simply they are not your friend.”
To sum up the presentation, Goldbourne said.
“We want you to keep your child safe for as long as they live in your home,” he said. “The first step to that in today’s world is to make sure they are safe online.”