To protect children online, parents need to invade their (cyber) space.  That’s the advice from Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.  Smith, who was a founding member of the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, spoke recently about teens and online safety at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Libertytown. A second talk is planned soon at St. John’s in downtown Frederick.

“Don’t give your child a smart phone,” Smith told parents at the Libertytown meeting. If you do, take precautions, he said. Parents can download apps to track their children’s activities or restrict data and texting plans. And children – even teens – should always expect periodic checks of their phones, he said.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

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