FAIRFIELD — Chief Robert Kalamaras and the Fairfield Police Department want to share internet safety tips with community members as part of Safer Internet Week.
Safer Internet Day is usually celebrated annually in February. This year it is celebrated for an entire week. The theme is “Improving Wellbeing Online” with a focus on social comparison, fear of missing out, body image, cyberbullying, youth activism, misinformation, extended reality and the metaverse , free speech and content moderation, and more.
As part of Safer Internet Week, the Fairfield Police Department would like to remind residents to be responsible and respectful when using the internet and posting online. Revealing personal information and images may compromise users’ privacy and security.
risk. As such, Community members should never post their phone or mobile number, home address, account passwords, or other personal information online.
Community members should also never open email attachments from someone they don’t know and never send money or account information to an unverified source.
In order to protect children and teens, the Fairfield Police Department would like to offer the following advice from Ready.gov’s Stop.Think.Connect. campaign on how to talk about being online and online safety:
Talk to your kids about online safety as soon as they’re old enough to use a phone, computer or other mobile device. As a parent, you have the opportunity to talk to your child about what is important before everyone else.
Create an honest and open environment
Children look to their parents for guidance. Be supportive and positive. Listening and considering their feelings helps keep the conversation flowing. You may not have all the answers, and being honest about it can go a long way. If your child confides in you about something scary or inappropriate they encountered online, try to work together to prevent it from happening again.
Even if your kids are comfortable approaching you, don’t wait for them to start a conversation. Take advantage of everyday opportunities to talk to them about being online. For example, a TV show featuring a teenager online or using a cell phone can spark a discussion about what to do – or what not to do – in similar circumstances. News stories about internet scams or cyberbullying, for example, can also help start a conversation with kids about their experiences and your expectations.
Communicate your values
Be upfront about your values and how they apply in an online context. Communicating your values clearly can help your kids make smarter, more thoughtful decisions when faced with tricky situations online.
Resist the urge to rush into conversations with your children. Most children need to hear repeated information, in small doses, for it to be assimilated. If you keep talking with your kids, your patience and perseverance will pay off in the long run. Work hard to keep the lines of communication open, even if you learn your child has done something online that you find inappropriate.
The Fairfield Police Department wants to encourage residents to follow this advice and to be mindful, careful and kind when using the internet and online.
About Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day began in Europe in 2004 with the aim not only of creating a safer Internet, but also a better Internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. In 2014, the European Commission and the US Department of Homeland Security designated ConnectSafely as the official US host of Safer Internet Day.
For more information on Safer Internet Day, residents can visit: saferinternetday.us.