Detective Scott Driscoll, of InternetSafetyConcepts.com, provided parents at the Mansfield Middle School Monday with a presentation on Internet safety.
As a former law enforcement officer, Driscoll lead numerous Internet crime investigations throughout his career.
Despite the negatives of technology witnessed by Driscoll during his tenure - such as child pornography, on-line bullying and identity theft - he stressed Monday that the Internet is a great tool when used properly.
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"I don't want you to be afraid of technology," Driscoll said. "Technology is a great thing," he said. "But if we don't think about safety, especially in terms of our children, these positives [of technology] can turn into negatives."
In an hour-long presentation, in conjunction with the Mansfield Public Schools Information Technology (IT) Team, Driscoll provided parents with information on how to keep their families safe online, offering tips for both parents and students.
"We've all seen the television shows; we've seen the news accounts," James Griffith, technology coordinator for the middle school said. "This is really important; our children are in the middle of this all the time. The more that we know as parents and as educators, the better we will be," Griffith said.
Following Monday's presentation, Mansfield parent Marie Hodrinksy said she'd put some of Driscoll's suggestions to use like adding parental controls to computer and gaming systems, Googling her kid's names and having a frank discussion with her children on whether they've shared their photos and videos on social networking sites such as YouTube.
Lisa Richardson, a mother from Tolland, said she would take the time to educate her children about their online presence.
But Mansfield-Storrs Patch wants to know how you feel about the issue. How do you feel about monitoring your child's online activity? Is it much ado about nothing? Do you forbid your kids from having a Facebook account? Does your child have a computer in his or her bedroom?
Please share your thoughts with your friends and neighbors in the comments section below.