Weber County deputies hosting digital safety training for parents and caregivers

Apr 16, 2024, 1:19 PM | Updated: 1:19 pm

OGDEN — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office is holding a workshop for parents to learn about internet safety and protect their families from online predators.

Detective Dustin Stewart, who offers this training, has handled cases where horrific things have happened to kids who were exposed to strangers online — cases as young as 6 years old.

“I’ve talked to a lot of parents after the fact and they always ask me how can I prevent this from happening,” Stewart said.

He said the first step is knowing what your child is doing on their cell phones.

“Basically, app knowledge,” he said. “Learning what certain apps do where they’re at, what they look like.”

It’s also important to keep the lines of communication open.

“A lot of times parents don’t ask the question and how will you know if you don’t ask the questions,” he said.

Stewart said predators are constantly changing their methods, but parents can learn their techniques and know what to look out for.

“The biggest thing is it can happen to anybody,” he said. “A lot of parents think this couldn’t happen to my kid. He does good in school, he follows the rules.”

That’s the warning a father will share with parents on Tuesday. His son was a sextortion victim and died by suicide.

“Parents just want to give their kids a phone to fit in at school or to fill the need to have a phone and to keep them busy and really that could be dangerous,” Stewart said.

The Internet Safety Night workshop will be held at the Weber County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

This is only for parents and caregivers. Trainings are held monthly. Follow their Facebook page for more information.

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Weber County deputies hosting digital safety training for parents and caregivers