Nebraska State Patrol encouraging families to discuss online safety during ‘Safer Internet Day’

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:56 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The internet can offer a world of information at your fingertips. But experts say, the world wide web can also open up kids to unknown dangers.

The threats could include contact with strangers that could lead to “grooming. That’s why “Safer Internet Day” was created. That day is Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Experts encourage parents, teachers, and kids to have discussions about online safety.

“It’s a good rule of thumb not to communicate with people that you don’t know, you have to be very leery because of the anonymity that the internet provides. You just never know who you’re talking to,” said Lt. Monty Lovelace, Commander of Nebraska State Patrol Tech Crimes.

Lovelace has also seen an uptick in all types of Internet Crimes in Nebraska. For example, in 2022 they received 2,600 tips that included the distribution, possession and manufacture of child porn and human trafficking leads. In 2019, they received just 900 tips.

Even with this rise, investigators are still confident they can chase down these crimes.

“I give all the credit to our investigators for taking on the challenge of this, but it is quite rewarding to know that the bad people that they’re taking off the streets are those that are hurting children,” said Lt. Lovelace.

For more resources or tips on how to start these difficult conversations, click here.