The Michigan State Police (MSP) is noticing an increase in computer crimes, with a particular focus on those targeting children. According to MSP Trooper Evan Fezatt, who has worked for years on the MSP Computer Crimes Unit, the prevalence of electronic devices in today’s society has made it difficult to name a crime that does not involve some form of technology.
Fezatt believes that the rise in computer crimes involving children can be attributed to younger generations growing up in a world driven by technology. “What we’re seeing is kids are growing up with cell phones and computers, whereas with adults, that was introduced into their lives after they had grown up. With kids as they grow up, they know nothing but electronics and we’re often seeing that kids are smarter than us with technology, they know about all the apps, they know about all the social media before we do,” Fezatt said.
To address this trend, the MSP’s Computer Crimes Unit is dedicated to staying current on social media apps and what is popular with children. Fezatt emphasized the importance of law enforcement being well-versed in the apps, social media platforms, websites, and gaming devices that children are using.
In light of these developments, Fezatt also stressed the need for parents to become more proactive in monitoring their children’s online activities. “What I’m telling parents to do is be involved, have that open line of communication with your kids, talk about what apps they’re on, what social media they’re doing, and then as a parent, go download that. See what it’s like, see if you can figure it out, if you have questions. Have that open line of communication with your kids,” Fezatt said.
Fezatt further advised that if parents have any concerns regarding their children’s online activities, they should contact the Michigan State Police to ascertain whether an investigation is warranted. This proactive approach can help mitigate the potential risks associated with online interactions and ensure the safety and security of children in the digital realm.
The rise in computer crimes targeting children highlights the need for enhanced awareness and proactive measures to safeguard young individuals in the digital age. By staying informed and engaged, both law enforcement and parents can work together to create a safer online environment for children. As technology continues to evolve, it is crucial to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the challenges posed by digital crimes targeting children.
The Michigan State Police’s efforts to tackle computer crimes and their commitment to staying abreast of the latest trends in technology demonstrate their dedication to protecting the well-being of children in the digital space. Through collaborative efforts between law enforcement, parents, and relevant stakeholders, the goal of creating a safer online environment for children can be achieved. Moving forward, ongoing vigilance and proactive measures will be essential in addressing the evolving landscape of digital threats targeting children.