Brickie Parent Newsletter from our SROs!
Hello Brickie parents, just a quick word from your friendly Hobart Police
Department SRO’s about social media and some of the dangers that are out there for
our young Brickies. I’m sure that you have heard some of this information before but it
never hurts to review this information again. For those Brickie parents that haven’t
heard about the dangers that social media presents we’ll mention a few things in this
letter. However, I encourage all parents to speak with their school’s SRO. Not only will
you learn a few things but the SRO has a great sense of humor too.
The first thing that I want Brickie parents to know is that social media dangers are
present for all of our young Brickies. This means from our youngest Preschool and
Kindergarten students to the 12th grader in high school. Brickie parents you should
never let your guard down when it comes to your child’s safety. For instance, online
gaming can expose your child to a lot of hidden dangers such as an online predator.
There is cyberbullying, privacy risks, webcam issues and the very high risk of
malware such as spyware or ransomware being installed without you or your child’s
knowledge. Ransomware can hijack a device or network and disable it until a ransom is
paid. Spyware can track your child’s online activity and gather personal information
about them and other family members. This information can then be used to put you or
your child in a dangerous situation.
With 66% of the world's population owning a cellphone and some kids report
owning a cellphone since the age of 7. Parents will need all the help they can get to
keep their kids as safe as possible. For our older Brickie students 26% of car accidents
have been linked to cell phone usage. One of the causes is the need to constantly
check social media for updates, likes and replies. Cell phone addiction is also a very
real danger for our Brickie students with the average user spending 2 hours and 51
minutes everyday on their phones. This doesn’t even take into account the screen time
from other devices.
The best way to combat the dangers of social media for your child is to simply
communicate with them daily. Communicate what your expectations are, communicate
what is and isn’t acceptable online behavior with them, and communicate with your
child's school. That’s right, the School City of Hobart is here to help our Brickie students
reach their full potential. It is an uphill battle for parents and schools but as long as we
work together we can win this battle. SRO Cpl. David Beaham put together a reference
guide of some of the social media apps that our young Brickies are using. There is a
brief description of the app and how it can be used inappropriately. You can click the
following link to access this quick reference guide.
Social Media Apps and Websites Kids Are Using