Archived Story

Sheriff’s Dept. to lead Internet safety class

Published 10:53am Monday, September 16, 2013

The Internet has changed the way the world communicates. But with this new form of communication comes new dangers.
Lt. Bill Hough, with the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, will be leading a class Sept. 19 that aims to inform parents about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace.
“This class is intended to help parents better understand social networking sites, the dangers associated with them and how to communicate with their child about the dangers,” Hough said.
Some of these dangers lie in putting out too much information, such as address and age. The class will also cover privacy settings.
Simply leaving one’s address off social networking sites is not enough to keep children safe. Predators clue in to other signs that can tip off cyberspace to ones whereabouts.
“We will talk about pictures being places on the Internet that give away specific information, such as a school uniform, jersey or cheerleading outfit,” Hough said. “Even without an address or town listed, there are specifics out there that would allow a predator to be able to locate them.”
The class will be held at the Adelia M. Russell Library Sept. 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Hough said it will benefit anyone who has or knows children in sixth grade and above.
“Parenst, grandparents – anybody who has a child and lives in a home or visits a home with access to the Internet will benefit,” Hough said.
IN addition to his job with the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Hough has worked on a federal and state task force on Internet crimes against children. During his 17 years in this field, Hough has seen firsthand the importance of educating society about the dangers on the Internet.
“The more cautious we are about what we advertise (online), the less likely we are to become a victim,” Hough said.  “Doing anything we can to educate parents and grandparents on how to protect children is one of the many goals of the sheriff’s department.”