Welcome back, listeners! In this edition of the Mountain View Police Department’s “Silicon Valley Beat,” we are excited to introduce you to our newest unit — the Cyber Crime Unit.
As more of our lives are connected to the internet, more cyber crime opportunities arise. Here in Mountain View, we are thrilled to have Det. Britton Moore meet with us to discuss just what cyber crime is, what his day-to-day job is like and even more importantly, what you, Mountain View, can do to protect yourselves from becoming victims of cyber crimes.
Cyber crimes are not just email scams or false advertisements. They increasingly include incidents that involve social media and teenagers. In fact, below, we have included some tips for parents and teens on how keep themselves safe online!
But first, listen in on our interview with Det. Moore here!
TIPS: There are several ways to make sure that your children are being safe while using either social media apps or websites. Some social media apps that teenagers use today:
- Yik Yak
If you allow your child to use social media, either online or on a smartphone, you could see some changes in their behavior. Some of it may be normal, but there are signs you should look for if you think something may be “off” with your child. Below are some signs to look for if you allow your child to use social media and you notice a change in their behavior.
- Does your teen get upset more frequently? Do small things upset them more than they should? What happens on social media could impact their attitude toward situations and toward others.
- If you take away a device (iPhone, iPad) that your child uses for social media and they become extremely angry, ask yourself why. Is it because you are taking the device away, or is it because there is something on a social media site they don’t want you to see?
- Are your child’s grades dropping in school? Has their use of social media increased?
- Does your teen spend a lot of time on their phone or on their computer inside their room? Do they prefer to keep their door closed and/or locked and not talk to family?
- Is your child using social media more and sleeping less? Are the more tired than usual?
If you allow your child to use social media, talk with them about what should and should not be shared with their peers and be aware of how you talk with them about being safe on social media.
- Teach your child about respect, both for themselves and others.
- Even though they delete it, anything your child puts online is permanent. Let them know that once they post a photo or video, it will always be available for someone to see.
- Make sure they understand that when they increase their online presence, all their posts – including pictures and videos – can be found someday when they apply to a job or to college.
- If you use social media, lead by example.
- Let your child know that suggestive photos are never ok. More often than not, the photos are shared with others.
- Make sure your kids know to never interact with people they don’t know.
- Check the privacy settings of apps your child use to make sure they are not sharing their location. Also, be sure you know what apps your child uses.
- Make sure your teen knows that they can come and talk to you about a problem that happens on social media.
Tips for teens:
- Check your privacy settings. Make sure no one can see your location (where you are or where you live), see your email or see your phone number.
- Be smart about what you post. Are you ok with everyone seeing a photo that may seem funny now, but what about in a year? Five years? Remember, anything that goes online can never be deleted or erased permanently.
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Be yourself online. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t.
- Be safe. Don’t talk about things you aren’t comfortable discussing in-person with your friends or with family.