Our Cybersafe Parent Initiative continues Thursday night. Eyewitness News, along with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office, the EVSC, and Kentucky State Police have all teamed up to help teach parents about the dangers their children could face while online.
“Surviving Social Media” is the topic at an event at McLean County Middle School Wednesday night.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King is leading the event. Eyewitness News spoke with Trooper King live Wednesday before the event.
Here’s a transcript of the interview:
Shelley Kirk: Trooper King, thank you so much for joining us.Tell us about this program, what all do you cover?
Trooper Corey King: Well, Shelley, I’ve been doing this for several years now. And I think for the past 18 years I’ve been working as a Trooper. We have seen social media involved. It’s not for the better when it comes down to our youth. So as a parent myself, I think a lot of this was a design of educating parents like me — who was unaware of all the various social media apps that’s out there, that is showing some disconcerting issues involving our kids. So tonight, what we’re really focusing on is a three-tier system: education, monitoring and communication. That’s what we’re going to really hit on. This part is the very first, the beginning steps of whether you’re a parent or a grandparent is to monitor and how to monitor these kids. So we’re going to educate them, but also we’re going to show them exactly what they need to look for and what we’re seeing locally. So we’re putting local flavor to what types of cases we are actually working here.
SK: Now this forum is not for kids though. Why not?
TK: I’m sorry Shelley, say that again.
SK: I understand that this forum is not for children. It’s for parents, particularly. Why is that?
TK: Well, we do show them some things that if I were to show kids or pre-teens or teens — what I’m teaching the parents to look for — of course, they’re going to use alternative methods. So for one, it’s that — just to show exactly what we’re seeing in almost real time what cases we’re working on a weekly basis. But also, we are exposing several cases we have worked because let’s be frank: a lot of these cases you don’t hear about because they are involving juveniles. So particularly, in these types of sessions, and settings with parents — I do talk about local cases that we have worked and what best practices they can use and what we can learn as investigators that we can share with parents. The best part is we don’t really want the pre-teens or teens to be exposed to that but also don’t want them to know exactly the methods we’re teaching their parents to how to look to ensure that they’re looking after their safety.
SK: Right, obviously kids are sometimes much more savvy than parents. What’s the main thing that you want parents to take home with them? Or what do you want them to do when they’re at home with their kids?
TK: Well they’re going to walk away with several key items. One is going to be sheets involving various different apps that are most commonly used but also most commonly abused. They’re also going to walk away with the current texting lingos — not only in the Tri-State area but from coast to coast. What we have seen as investigators of what type of codes that teens, pre-teens, as well as adults are using when they’re communicating … They’re going to walk away with that but the main thing is, educating them exactly what we’re seeing but also the best practices. For example, monitoring their digital life. Sounds simple. But the reality is a lot of parents are intimidated by technology. And there’s now way that really any of us can stay on top of it. Shelley I don’t know if you know this or not but there’s roughly 60,000 apps that are released every month. There’s no one that can stay on top of that. But I’m teaching them exactly for one: the main players when it comes down to these nudes, and what the predators use to get those kids to send them nudes. Sextortion, that’s another issue that we see locally. Either way, I expose those. But I’m telling the parents to monitor their digital life and if your kids, if you allow them to have let’s say Snapchat. As a parent, you need to have Snapchat too. But also, you need to follow your kids. But follow your kids’ friends. Because you are who your friends are. Those are the main key components. I showed some hidden secrets amongst our cellphones and what a lot of parents have no clue that’s there.
SK: Okay, you have got me driving down to McLean County tonight to take part in this because honestly you’re hitting right at home. I have a 15-year-old son right now and I’m trying to do the best I can to monitor and you have some good things right there. Trooper Corey King, thank you so much for sharing that information. We’re at that forum with you tonight and we’ll have more coming up on Eyewitness News later tonight and how you talk with parents — the best way to do that. Thank you again and good luck with tonight’s forum.
TK: Thanks for having me Shelley.
(This story was originally published on March 15, 2018)