Despite many children going back to school and more adults heading to office spaces, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s Computer Crimes Unit (CCU) and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force saw record reports of tips coming in via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to a news release from Angie Grube, public information director with the SBI.
In 2021, the SBI got 12,760 cyber tips, while the agency received 9,308 cyber tips in 2020 compared to 4,930 cyber tips in 2019, a release said.
“While we are hopeful this trend will not follow us into a new year, the numbers clearly indicate this is a very serious problem, and we must do all we can to protect children online,” Kevin Roughton, SBI special agent in charge, said in the release.
According to the SBI, the top three sources from last year’s cyber tips came from social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
Here are some safety tips that are recommended from the SBI to parent and guardians to help keep kids safe:
- Parents must frequently communicate with their kids about who they interact with online and talk to them about what is and what isn’t acceptable online behavior.
- Parents should also warn their kids about the dangers of sharing inappropriate photos and videos.
- Also, be sure to check their phones periodically to see what apps they have and how they’re using them.
Click here for more information and resources on how to keep kids safe while online.