MSP Working with Parents to Keep Kids Safe Online

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How much do you know about your child's online life?

It's a question Michigan State Police were working to answer Tuesday night with parents at Okemos High School.

As part of the school's 'Be Excellent' night, parents were invited to hear presentations from MSP officers on how to better monitor their children's cyber activity to help ensure the online choices made now won't hurt them down the road.

"We're asking kids to be cautious," said Trooper Marco Jones. "They don't realize the things they're putting on social media may impact their job chances, or chances of going to a good college."

Tuesday night was a sort of crash course for parents with Trooper Jones along with MSP Sergent Jay Poupard giving presentations on everything from 'sexting' to social media responsibility.

"We want them to be somewhat nosy, we want them to know what their kids are doing," Jones said.

And beyond that, with the gap between the real world and the online world not being as wide as some might assume, Jones added there can be serious legal ramifications for kids who make poor decisions online.

"Most of your involvement with sexting and sending photos that are explicit or suggestive falls under the felony realm," he said. "They have to be investigated, they have to be taken seriously."

Parents who attended said the presentations were helpful and eye-opening.

"I feel like I was probably behind the eight-ball and I wanted to catch up because I know my 5th grader is getting way ahead of me and I just want to be able to keep him safe," said Carolyn Combs.

"I wanted to just be aware of the tricks and traps they can fall into.. they have probably more technology than I have," said Chris Buck.

"They can be anywhere doing anything whereas before they were unplugged."

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