Electronic Gifts and Safety Tips
Prince George, B.C. – A new tablet, a lap top, perhaps a smart phone, all items that may be on a Christmas wish list for the young ones this year. But parents should remember, giving the gift of internet connectivity also opens the door to online safety concerns and exposure to predators.Just last month, a 31 year old Prince George man was sentenced to a year in jail and two years probation for luring a child following an investigation that started in January of 2015. That case saw a member the BC Integrated Child Exploitation unit (BC ICE) pose as a 12 year old girl start communicating online with an adult male.. Although the investigator emphasized on several occasions that they were a child, the suspect engaged dialogue and over a short period of time, proceeded to send sexually explicit images to the child (investigator) and graphic descriptions of sexual acts that he wanted to engage in with the child. The suspect was arrested in late March, and on November 22nd, 31 year old Nolan Liedke was sentenced.
The RCMP advise that parents have the safety discussion with their teens starting with being open about online behaviour. The mounties suggest computers be located in a busy family areas, such as the kitchen, and work with teens so they know how to behave safely online.
On the RCMP website there are a number of tips for internet safety. Here are a few of the tips offered by the RCMP:
- Monitor your teen’s online activities on a regular basis.
- Encourage teens to take breaks from devices once in a while
- Establish a family recharging station and keep devices out of bedrooms at night
- Some mobile apps may not be suitable for teens, and some Apps also have the potential to be used by adult offenders to take advantage of young people
Let your teens know that what they post or say on the net can have serious long term effects and consequences, online harassment is an offence that could result in criminal charges.