FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — Considering international Safer Internet Day took place earlier this month, Fairview Park City Schools has scheduled its next “Parent University” affair talking social media and internet safety with families and community members.
The presentation, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. March 4 at Gilles-Sweet Elementary, features speaker Randy Kimbro.
The FBI Citizens Academy member will be covering topics such as how social media posts can affect future jobs, inappropriate searches and their effects, apps to avoid, how the “bad guys” operate and other important issues faced by internet users of all ages.
“I’ll be talking about the dangers of not only posting online, but how posting and surfing online can lead to people following and tracking you unexpectedly,” said Kimbro, a 30-year Olmsted Falls Fire Department firefighter, paramedic and fire investigator. “Also, how apps on your phone can be used by the bad guys to track you inappropriately.
“How all of those breadcrumbs that you leave by clicking likes and going to the different sites paint a very detailed picture of not only you but your family, where you go to school, where your parents work and lurking dangers of those.”
A public speaker about internet dangers for the past decade, Kimbro said the normal reaction to his presentation by parents and kids is shock how easy it is for their information to be used for malfeasant purposes.
“People are always very surprised at how organized crime behind the scenes is regularly using this information that they have no idea is going on,” said Kimbro, who has to regularly research the technology that seemingly changes daily.
Despite such internet safety talks being commonplace over the last decade, Kimbro said he still sees the public using the easy-to-figure-out passwords, as well as falling for fraudulent emails that in some cases cost them their life savings.
“Email phishing attempts that we are educated about daily in the news are still by far the top most profitable criminal enterprise,” Kimbro said. “From that I take it either people aren’t getting the lessons or aren’t following the lessons or aren’t aware of how dangerous some of their innocuous activity is for them.”
Fairview Park City Schools Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Coordinator Carrie Sullivan said the idea to host an internet safety presentation came from a recent parents’ survey. Also, last spring the district held a similar event featuring an Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force member.
“As part of my Parent University, I’m trying to provide parents with information on topics that they want to know more information about,” Sullivan said. “For this evening, we’re providing parents with information about internet safety, apps to be aware of and appropriate use of the internet, as well as promoting a new campaign at the Giles Sweet Elementary, ‘Wait Until 8th.’
“This campaign makes parents be aware that waiting to let your childhood have a smartphone is good. Smartphones impair sleep, increase risk for anxiety and are an academic distraction.”
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