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Rotary Happenings: Rotary has Sanibel School Resource Officer as guest speaker

By Staff | Feb 4, 2015

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary welcomed as our guest speaker recently Sanibel School Resource Officer, John Jakubowski.

Normally as a School Resource Officer, Jakubowski is responsible for children and staff security during school hours and at after school events.

But there are a couple of additional areas beyond those defined responsibilities that are extremely important to Officer Jakubowski, character building and computer safety.

In both cases, adults have to pay attention to what is going on with their children. Who are their friends and what are they doing?

Most children nowadays have access to the internet on a regular basis at school, at home or on some other mobile computer technology device.

Jakubowski came prepared to enlighten us on the importance of Internet Safety regarding children. We’ve all heard the horror stories regarding bullying and child predators.

A quote from the FBI, “Our children are our nation’s most valuable asset. They represent the bright future of our country and hold our hopes for a better nation. Our children are also the most vulnerable members of society. Protecting our children against the fear of crime and from becoming victims of crime must be a national priority.”

Computer devices themselves do no harm, but what you use them for can affect not only your life but the lives of others for a very long time.

BIG BROTHER can only do so muchthe Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998 to specifically protect the privacy of children under the age of 13 by requesting consent for the collection or use of any personal information of Web site users.

The Act officially took effect in April 2000.

Parents and Grandparents are not always savvy about social media sites kids are using today and definitely not about the new temporary and anonymous apps that are being used- which when posted on disappear after a very short time.

So let’s wake up and first restrict usage of these devices. Monitoring is okaywell, more than okay – there are apps parents can use to track their children usage.

Place computers in a common area to monitor the child’s activities. Buy software that prevents your child from visiting inappropriate sites.

Tell them why they should never give out personal information about themselves on the computer, why they should never to fill out personal questioners or member profiles and definitely don’t post personal information on social media and use those sites to inform people of your regular daily activities.

This is pretty much is the equivalent of our parents’ warnings, never talk to strangers, but on the internet there are millions and millions of strangers that might just be browsing for this type of information about you, that there are strangers that are out to do harm.

However, there is more. Today the kids are using temporary apps like Snapchat and Burn Note to temporarily post messages and pictures, that will self-destruct after a period of time.

Why, they do thatthink! There are other apps, that are even more scaryWhisper, Secret-Speak Freely, Ask.fm, Omegleused for all kinds of posting, they don’t want their parents to know about.

And FYI, get to know the language/acronyms used on social media: 9-parent watching, 99-parent gone, broken-hangover, 420-marijuana, POS-parent over shoulder, just google acronyms every parent should knowyou will be enlightened.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7 a.m., Friday mornings at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, Sanibel. Guests are always welcomed.