Cyber predators: A primer for parents

keyboardAs an editor, I shepherded countless stories about cyber predators onto the front page of the newspaper. As an online director, I helped get these stories major traffic. Yet kids continue to be victimized. And, frankly, many parents remain clueless.

If you want to get clued in fast — and you should — top experts at cracking computer crimes are going in-depth on April 22, at a special presentation:

“Wired Kids: What Parents Need to Know About the Internet,” is a look at the seedier side of the Internet, including pornography, sexual predators, on-line bullying, and addiction to various on-line games.

Your hosts: Pascack Regional Hills/Valley Community Coalition.

Your experts: The Computer Crimes Unit of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Time and place: 7 p.m., April 22, at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale.

The key to the presentation will be a discussion on how parents specifically can protect their Web-savvy but worldly-innocent children, who often accidentally fall prey to persuasive predators.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli made fighting cyber crime a priority when he came into office earlier this decade. Since then, he has bolstered the computer crimes staff to 19 detectives — including an elite task force comprised of officers from throughout the county — and brought aboard one of the best at the job, Detective Lt. Andrew D’Onofrio.Bergen's top lawman

But instead of just snatching up the cyberpervs — which D’Onofrio’s crew does extremely well, by the way, Molinelli (photo, right) wants to also give parents the benefit of his staff’s knowledge.

I’ve lost count of how many times he’s said: “Parents need to know about this. We need to keep getting the word out.”

“The explosion of the Internet has proven to be most influential with the youngest of generations, namely our children,” the prosecutor said in a statement promoting the program.

“Protecting them on the World Wide Web, a truly unregulated atmosphere, is a tremendous task that needs to begin at home, where children are indeed most vulnerable. Parents seldom realize the depth and breadth of a limitless connection to the rest of the globe via a seemingly harmless Internet connection in their own living room.”

For additional information on the event: Hills Valley Coalition Chairpersons Janice Georgallas at 201-358-7060 x4016 or Gale Mangold at 201-358-7020 x2012.

Also see: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Website

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