5 TIPS FROM A POLICE OFFICER TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE ONLINE
Child Rescue Coalition’s 2018 Investigator of the Year and Fort Lauderdale detective, Robert Mauro works tirelessly to keep kids safe in South Florida. He shared these five tips with Child Rescue Coalition to teach parents how to protect their children from online sexual predators.
- Devices such as tablets, cell phones, and laptops are off limits in children’s bedrooms and bathrooms. At night, all devices should stay in the kitchen/living area and get charged there.
- Utilize your cell carrier’s (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.) family safety plan options. Parents can control the devices on the plan and can turn off certain features as needed. This is usually offered at no additional cost or as little as $5 per month per family account.
- Keep an active log of usernames and passwords for your children’s accounts. Conduct surprise spot checks. If they change the password without you knowing, have consequences.
- Consider the use of third party monitoring software such as Webwatcher. This software can be installed on computers, tablets, and cell phones and allow for customized monitoring. Parents can receive automatic alerts when a certain contact calls or texts your child. Copies of texts, emails, and social media posts can be forwarded to the parent’s phone in real time. GPS monitoring is also available so you can locate your child in an emergency.
- Keep the number for the CYBER TIP LINE handy 1-800-The-Lost. The call goes directly to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Your child does not have to be missing to file a report regarding child exploitation or similar crimes.
Learn more about our Investigator of the Year: A veteran law enforcement officer with 18 years on the force and a dedicated instructor and user of Child Rescue Coalition’s CPS Technology, Det. Mauro’s work with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department has resulted in successful prosecutions on both state and federal cases regarding the possession, distribution, and production of child pornography, as well as child enticement and online solicitation. In his time as an ICAC investigator, Mauro was responsible for the rescue of nine previously unidentified and unreported child victims.