Hudson schools teach students about cyber safety - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hudson schools teach students about cyber safety

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by John Wilmer

HUDSON (KWWL) -- Technology rules our lives, from cell phones to computers, they are a necessity for most people. But along with this technology, new dangers arise.

On Friday, some eastern Iowa students got a lesson in cyber safety. Over the past few years the Hudson community school district saw a rise in harassing text messages and emails, now school officials are teaching students how to stay safe on-line and on the phone.

At-Risk Coordinator Dave Lipinski's job is to look out for the safety of these students, but this time it's all about the threats found in cyber space.

"There is no doubt you read the papers you look on the news... It's an issue across the country and small towns, we would like to think we're immune to some of that but we're just as likely to have that kind of stuff as the big towns and cities just in smaller numbers," Lipinski said.

Lieutenant Kent Smock of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office is part of the internet crimes against children task force and he poses as an underage teen online. Most of the time he's treated like any other teen online, but other times people are not so kind.

"I've also had people in a matter of minutes approaching me about an inappropriate contact or talking about meeting with me and as a result several of our investigations. They've actually travel to meet who they thought were underage people for illegal purposes and have been charged criminally and held responsible for those," Lieutenant Smock said.

Now Smock is working with kids of all ages and teaching them that not everybody they meet online is a friend. Young people have been threatened, taken advantage of, and even kidnapped when too much of their personal info gets put online.

"We are trying to build those fundamental safety rules with them so they understand and as they grow and continue to mature hopefully they will take with them these safety rules," Smock said.

"We want kids to think. Think before you type. Think before you get online and really if they do that then I think we've done our job by educating them with the possibility of their consequences, Lipinski said."

The presentations being shown on Friday are age specific. While the younger kids were learning the new rules of 'don't talk to strangers,' high schoolers were finding out about the dangers of sending inappropriate text messages. A problem that number of teens have already faced.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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