A Click Away from Internet Safety

Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Brian Heid spoke to Carle Place Middle School students about Internet safety for teenagers on Jan. 17. His presentation included discussions on cyberbullying, social networking, hacking, online predators, sexting, information security and more. Heid, who has prosecuted criminals in Nassau County at part of the technology crime unit, is also a special assistant U.S. attorney who has works to convict cyber criminals on a federal level.

“The fence line that separates what you do at home and school does not exist for this generation,” said Heid. “Anything between two or more people can become public at any time.”

Throughout his presentation, Heid provided students with facts and statistics to support his statements. He also cited sources and showed clips of news stories from the recent past as examples of how a seemingly simple situation can evolve into something more serious.

“One of the dangers of cyberbullying is that it can, and often does, turn into face-to-face confrontation,” said Heid, who then detailed the repercussions of cyberbullying. Additionally, Heid outlined the rights to privacy that every individual has and how to properly handle a situation in which those rights have been violated. He urged students to confide in a parent or other trustworthy adult about situations that jeopardize someone’s integrity and safety.

“Your parents, teachers, principals and guidance counselors know how to properly handle these types of situations,” he said. “Trust them and don’t be afraid to talk to them.”