Morris County News

Police Officer Offers Cyber Safety Tips

7fedc643efe09f927648_Sgt._Tom_Rich_following_his_seminar_in_Pompton_Plains__2018_TAPinto_Montville.JPG
Sgt. Tom Rich following his seminar in Pompton Plains ©2018 TAPinto Montville Credits: Melissa Benno
7fedc643efe09f927648_Sgt._Tom_Rich_following_his_seminar_in_Pompton_Plains__2018_TAPinto_Montville.JPG

POMPTON PLAINS, NJ – Sergeant Tom Rich of the Summit Police Department spoke before a room packed with parents wanting to hear about technology’s effect on their children and his seminar entitled “Media & Cyber Safety: Protecting Children and Teens” on April 12.

The 20-year police veteran discussed his passion for working with and helping children. He said that in a society that is always connected, we become very disconnected.

Parents think about “stranger danger” as the guy dressed in black who wants to kidnap your kid from the grocery store, but the world is different now.

Sign Up for E-News

“The strangers are talking to your kid on YouTube, SnapChat, Fortnite and MineCraft,” Rich said, describing smart phone apps. YouTube is an app for watching videos, Fortnite and MineCraft are games, while SnapChat is a communication app which “deletes” the text soon after the recipient reads or views it. More on that later.

Rich said that it’s important to discuss the apps with your child because even though the games have online chat functions, they don’t need to be activated to play the games.

“It all depends on how you want to parent your child,” he said.

And this generation of children uses technology in very different ways than its parents do.

Rich described how an app can bring delivery food to the door, even if the restaurant itself doesn’t offer delivery, and how kids are watching YouTube to view professional video game players, well, playing games.

“Back when we were young, we wanted to be athletes – those were our heroes,” Rich said. “Nowadays, kids watch videos by the millions of kids diving into bathtubs and rolling in nacho cheese. Or walking into the ‘suicide forest’ where one kid was actually hanging there by a tree. Kids want a phone not so they can actually call anybody – they don’t do that. They text. The technology is changing who they are and how they express themselves.”

Rich showed a video his son had made for YouTube that he told his son he could post later, when he’s old enough.

“He’s not playing with Legos, he’s making videos,” he said. “The simplest thing is changing them as people.”

Rich said his sons make “tickle time” videos, too, which he thinks are cool, but he worries about the technology.

“Technology can be great, but it has to be used in moderation,” he said.

Rich said approximately 573 billion texts are sent per month, but he thinks it’s probably higher, especially since the statistic does not include Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook messenger communications. Further, he quoted the statistic that 19.1 billion texts are sent per day.

“That means that there’s no more face-to-face communication!” Rich said. “Not even on the phone! So much of what we say is non-verbal, yet kids aren’t receiving that.”

Rich said that teens no longer know how to deal with failure or disappointment as a result of the miscommunication that is happening. He said he’s trying to teach his son that effort is important, not necessarily grades.

“Instant gratification is changing our kids,” he said. “When they don’t have to make an effort, it changes them.”

Safety

Rich said parents tell their kids not to share their email address on social media, their school name, etc., but then he asked the audience how many took first day of school photos, soccer team photos, Halloween pictures and put them on Facebook. He said that’s just as bad.

“Facebook has facial recognition software that’s probably better than the FBI’s,” Rich said. “Now, in the news, they’re getting into trouble for not deleting information and for selling information.”

Rich explained that Facebook owns Instagram and when posts are made, the user’s location posts automatically as well. Instagram’s location feature was used by a stalker who was following a teen in a case he worked, he said. He showed the audience how to turn it off.

“SnapChat was created to send nudes,” Rich said. “Sixteen is the age of consent, but if kids are sending photos of themselves, it’s child pornography. The app tricks the phone into thinking the photo is deleted. But with a subpoena it takes 30 days for law enforcement to retrieve that photo – it’s not gone.”

Speaking with Kids

Rich does many presentations with teens and he says he tells them “there is not one text message, post, comment, hashtag, rumor, affair, that should ever make you want to hurt yourself, and if you know someone who feels that way, or you feel that way, you should reach out.” He said he has started telling the adults now too because of the number of suicides he has responded to on the job.

“It doesn’t make you weak – it makes you human,” he said. “Mental health needs to be accepted as being health. I want to teach sympathy and empathy. ‘You may know my name but you don’t know my story.’”

Rich said he tells the kids he speaks to that one comment can tear them down and they don’t know what others are dealing with.

“I do this because other people weren’t doing it right – we need to parent differently now,” he said. “I do this to make a difference, so that if someone reaches out to ask for help, it’s all worth it.”

This program was sponsored by Community Partners for Hope.

Visit and read your exclusive Montville news at TAPinto Montville​ 24/7 for FREE: TAPinto​Montville​.net 

Sign up to receive FREE TAPinto news in your email inbox: www.tapinto.net/enews

Follow TAPinto on Twitter: @MontvilleTAP 

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MontvilleTAP/

​​Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_17f80468f7bba66e8a00_library_pio_costa

Mon, May 21, 6:30 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Genealogy Workshop: Writing Your Family Story

Education

Mon, May 21, 7:00 PM

Montville Township Senior House, Montville

Montville Twp Women's Club Meeting

Giving Back

Tue, May 22, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Storytime

Education

Carousel_image_43c3e4bb275c7bec9364_a_tech_1

Thu, May 24, 6:30 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Tech Class: Online Product Research

Education

Carousel_image_f20d0676e75db4ff7bd4_a_montville_township_symbol_-_brass

Thu, May 24, 7:30 PM

Montville Township Municipal Building, Montville

Planning Board Meeting

Government

Spanish Students Host Bowling Night to Send Hurricane Relief to Puerto Rico

May 18, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Students taking Spanish and participating in the Robert R. Lazar Middle School Spanish Club are planning a iSomos Uno! (We are One!) bowling fundraiser on Sunday, May 20. They hope to help restore electricity and provide some relief for the Hurricane Maria survivors of Puerto Rico. The Spanish Language school students began planning the event in the aftermath of ...

Montville Police Touch-A-Truck Event Drives it Home

May 18, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Police Department sponsored the Touch-A-Truck event on Sunday, May 6, at which dozens of township and commercial vehicles parked at the high school, allowing kids to see the vehicles, talk to the owners, and meet emergency personnel from across the township.

“We wanted to put a face to the first responders the kids may encounter in an ...

Cedar Hill 5th Grader Gets Pied for a Purpose

May 20, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Joe Signorella, a fifth grader at Cedar Hill Elementary School in Towaco, wanted to come up with a great idea for his Treps marketplace booth. Treps is an afterschool program that teaches the students how to run a business: advertising, pricing, financing. But first you have to come up with your product or service.

Joe had some ideas, like selling soccer balls since he ...

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

May 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 19, 2018

TINTON FALLS, NJ – A.J. Perri is back helping veterans in need – this time launching a search for veterans and their families through a partnership with ABC-TV.

As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...

Spanish Students Host Bowling Night to Send Hurricane Relief to Puerto Rico

May 18, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Students taking Spanish and participating in the Robert R. Lazar Middle School Spanish Club are planning a iSomos Uno! (We are One!) bowling fundraiser on Sunday, May 20. They hope to help restore electricity and provide some relief for the Hurricane Maria survivors of Puerto Rico. The Spanish Language school students began planning the event in the aftermath of ...

Columns

OPEN HOUSES this weekend 5/19-5/20 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018:

  From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  44 Union Street, C0008, Montclair

  Click HERE to see Full Listing.

  

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  9 Condit Road, Mountain Lakes

   Click HERE to see Full ...

Open Houses This Weekend 5/12-5/13 2018

The following homes have Open Houses presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2018:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  34 Brittany Road, Montville.

  Click HERE to see the full listing.

 

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  15 Linda Court, Montville.

  Click HERE to see the full listing.

 

  From 2 - 4 p.m.

  7 ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, May 12 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using FGPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, May 13 from 1 - 3 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using FGPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
18 Renshaw Drive, Montville 

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

'The Sting' with Harry Connick Jr. Slithers and Shakes at Paper Mill

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott Joplin’s music is intertwined with the show, especially “The ...

Pet Corner