Sgt. Tom Rich Works to Keep Kids Safe from Cyberbullying
Steve Adubato sits down with Sgt. Tom Rich, a cybersecurity expert who teaches parents the signs of cyberbullying and how to keep their kids safe online.
"We are pleased to be joined by Sergeant Tom Rich, cybersecurity expert and keynote speaker. Good to see you Sergeant. Nice to see you. We have teenage kids. There are millions out there with teenage kids and different ages. What is the problem when it comes to online activities with our kids? Well, the biggest problem is no monitoring, really. I mean there's a lot of things that are out there that our kids are doing that as parents, we unfortunately have a struggle in trying to keep up with all of the changing technology. So it has to be a constant, ongoing conversation about how to protect them. So the other day, our 12 year old was engaged in Minecraft, right? I know what it is, I've poked in. Yeah. Look, I said "Chris, what's going on there?" What should I be doing? Well, Minecraft, there's 3 different ways you can play. You can play a pocket edition where there's no online connectivity. You can play on an iPad type of device. Here, I'm talking to 5 other kids Right. So, now you go online. Now the issue is that it becomes a digital server so it's like a digital room that your kid can go into and start to build things and pretty much be approached by anyone. What do you mean anyone? I know the five kids that he's on with. Well, similar with Roadblocks, it's a very similar platform. What's Roadblocks? Same thing. Digital room. They can play different games. You go into what they call a digital server It's a different video game and there's other people walking around that can come up and start to chat with your child. How can they do that? It's just the way the platform's set up. You go into a chat feature which is top left and then you put in a command and you can start chatting or talking. But there's a way to turn it off and make it very easy so your kid can still play it and not have to worry about those dangers. Hold on. The kid... Okay, our kid's in there... Any kid. Mmmhmm. And all of the sudden, somebody comes on and says "hey, are your parents home?" Yep. Absolutely. How old are you? Where are you from? What's your phone number? Do you exchange pictures. It happens every day, all day. Advice to us right now... How do we allow our kids enough freedom to play with their friends in the cyber world but try to keep them safe? Well, I think it's a very similar conversation just like going to school or riding your bike around the neighborhood. I have an 11 year old and we had this same conversation. I said "you're allowed to go on YouTube..."