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OPSO teaches parents Internet safety

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MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) -The Internet can be a blessing and a curse. And if you have children, it can bedown-right dangerous. That's why the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office isholding special classes, just for parents.

John Asmussen is the directorof the special victims unit and teaches the classes to educate parents andchildren about the dangers of child predators on the Internet. Asmussen can'thelp but take his work home with him because he is also a parent.

And he said predators areeverywhere.

"One in five girlsand one in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before reaching adulthood. Andif they are not telling anybody about this, we really don't have an idea ofwhat's going on. That's just the ones we know of," Asmussen said. 

Asmussen said the bestdefense is being proactive.

"Get out there withparent controls, get out there with the wireless router to prevent access tothe Internet, for those devices that don't have parental control feature in them,"Asmussen said. "Just getting out there and being proactive can stop a lot ofthis."

Asmussen suggests leavingcomputers and mobile devices in common areas like the kitchen or living room. Hesaid they don't belong in places like the bedroom or bathroom. And he advisesparents to educate themselves on the latest technology available to childrenand teens.

Asmussen also said thebest way to keep your child safe is to talk to them about what is expected ofthem and why the World Wide Web can be a very dangerous place. 

For more information visit www.netsmartz.org.

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