Maryland State Police urges parents to watch children’s online usage on Safer Internet Day

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — In honor of Safer Internet Day, Maryland State Police are reminding parents to be aware of their children’s online activity.

Maryland State Police say there has been an increase in the amount of investigative leads from the cyber tip hotline as children spend more time online during the pandemic. Tips to keep your child safe online include: setting screen time limits, reinforcing rules, setting household passwords, and placing computers in common areas.

While children are especially vulnerable to internet predators, so are senior citizens. Specifically, when it comes to sharing personal information through email.

Joe Dugan, Maryland State Police’s Internet Safety Specialist said, “Know what they’re doing. Know who they’re talking to. Know what games they’re playing. Everybody think it’s safe for a child to go play an internet game. Well, almost three-quarters of the people in internet games are adults. The average age for a gamer is about 39 years of age. So we’re giving our children this device to go play a game. Well, the problem is we’re telling them to go play with adults.”

If you feel that your child has been exploited police advice parents to file a complaint with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but if a child is in any imminent danger such as meeting up with a predator, call 9-1-1.

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