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Local predator case shines light on dangers for children using electronic devices

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Internet predators are taking advantage of children who take their laptops home because of remote learning

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As technology leaps forward, just about every student is able to use a device as part of their schooling.

But as we discovered this week, internet predators like William Ice are taking advantage of children who take their laptops home because of remote learning.

Weathersfield Superintendent Damon Dohar said when students are at school using their approved Wi-Fi, security is tighter. He said every student has to sign off on school policies such as electronic devices as they are handed out.

“We teach them back to almost the ‘stranger danger’ portion that if you don’t know the person online and they want to know you, that is not a wise decision,” Dohar said.

Sheriff Richie Simmons, with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, mentioned Wi-Fi security as he explained how they took down William Ice and uncovered how he got in contact with so many juveniles on the internet.

“When they’re in school, they have firewalls and stuff. Outside of school, they don’t, and that’s a big danger,” Simmons said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost takes things a step further, saying parents need to remind their children the school laptops are not toys for personal use, suggesting their own devices may need extra security.

“There’s all kinds of good products out there to help you monitor where they’re going and what they’re doing. Look for keywords that are frequently used by grooming predators,” Yost said.

Dohar also suggests checking security controls at home.

“Check your internet security at home. Double-check what’s going on with your kid on a day-to-day basis, he said.

Dohar says just being more actively involved in your child’s life could stop problems before they ever start.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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