Several Web sites offer tips for parents to keep tabs on what their children do, who they communicate with, on the computer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2004

Protecting children while in cyberspace is a job that parents must take seriously, according to local law enforcement.

For 24 years, Suffolk Police Detective Joyce Williams has primarily worked cases involving abusive offenses against minors. Today’s climate has forced officers to new levels to fight predators on the Internet.

Tuesday’s arrest of a local coach for allegedly using the Internet to sexually entice a 13-year-old may be a signal that more juveniles victims are out there. Kenneth Wayne Crowder, 52, was arrested in Virginia Beach. Williams worked in concert with Virginia Beach investigators on the case.

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To protect children from Internet predators, Williams recommends that parents seek tips at web sites like Other sites with valuable information include and

One of the best practices parents can establish, said Williams, is to keep the computer somewhere an adult in the home can monitor the activity.

Also, &uot;Parents need to learn the ins and outs of the Internet,&uot; said Williams, who added that in some cases involving runaways, parents often don’t know their child’s password.

Online stalkers most often reach juveniles by frequenting their chat sites, and pretending to be in their age group.

&uot;They know where children like to hang out,&uot; said Williams.

A free computer program is available at the Suffolk Police Department with information about protecting kids from cyberspace predators.

For more information about suggested precautions, Williams can be reached at 923-2159.