‘We have the internet, it’s not going away’: How to keep children safe online

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Spencerport superintendent is encouraging families to ask their children about their online activity after a middle school teacher was arrested on child pornography charges. 

Ian Milam of Pittsford is a sixth grade math teacher at Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport. 

Greece Police started investigating him back on May 3. Prosecutors say Milam posed as a high school student on Snapchat and sent and received sexually explicit photos and videos with young girls. 

Since that arrest News10NBC has been hearing from parents rattled by the disturbing allegations.

Parents are wondering what they can do to keep their children safe. News10NBC’s Natalie Faas spoke with the Bivona Child Advocacy Center on Wednesday to see what advice they could offer.

The people at Bivona deal with cases of child abuse in all forms. They are trained to teach both children and adults how to prevent, respond and react to abuse and how to stay safe in all environments.

Bivona’s outreach work is all about educating children and adults. The experts help kids learn how and when to tell a safe adult that they need help. They work with adults on how to react if their child tells them someone is hurting them, and what they should do. 

A major focus is on online safety. With social media constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep up. 

Bivona keeps an extensive database of child safety resources — like a list of apps that parents can use to monitor what their children are doing on their devices, and who they are interacting with. 

“Check your children’s phones, check your children’s devices on a regular basis,” explains Danielle Lyman-Torres, president and CEO of Bivona Child Advocacy. “Make sure you have some settings on there, some parental settings, especially for younger children to maybe block some content. The reality is that we have the internet, it’s not going away, and we are not going to be able to keep children from using it. But we need to be sure that we are being vigilant and checking.”

If you want to know more or need Bivona’s help, they can be reached at (585)935-7800 or click here for their website.