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Wednesday 12 December 2018
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Internet Safety for Parents with Tamra Bryant

Internet Safety for Parents with Tamra Bryant

Internet Safety for Parents with Tamra Bryant

This interview is part of a special series by intrepidNOW Lifestyle on Internet Safety. The series is targeted at parents that know that they must protect their children from the dangers of online access but are not quite sure how.  We will interview the experts and share their prescriptive advice.

GUEST: Tamra Bryant, Attorney, Bryant Law, LLC

Tamra joined us to share her advice for parents on many aspects of internet safety.  Specifically, we talked with Tamra about the following:

  1. (1:05) Let’s get right to it Tamra, what are the top 2 or 3 things that you would tell parents regarding the safety of their children in the Internet?
  2. (3:52) Given what you know about who is passing through the law enforcement and courts systems, how do you determine who you will and won’t allow your child to associate with?
  3. (6:15) What is the most important thing that we can do to equip our children?
  4. (10:15) What is the most important thing that we can do as parents?

Visit Bryant Law, LLC on the Web and follow them on Facebook.

Check out our other great interviews on Internet Safety for Parents!

About Tamra Bryant  

(from http://tbryantlaw.com/about/)

Tamra started her legal career in 2003 in a small, general practice firm where she gained experience with probate matters, real estate transactions and loan closings until 2007.  Ms. Bryan left that position to be assistant to the Talladega County Probate Judge for nearly five (5) years where she gained valuable probate knowledge.  She then attended law school where she earned her Juris Doctorate in 2015.  After graduating, she prosecuted for Baldwin County, which included domestic violence dockets, Grand Jury and preliminary hearings.  Additionally, she formed a Restitution Recovery Program for victims, which focused on making sure defendants actually paid victims the restitution they were ordered by the court to pay.  In 2017, she formed Bryant Law, LLC. to help clients like you.

Transcript

Joe Lavelle: Welcome back to intrepidNOW Lifestyle, I’m your host Joe Lavelle and I’m really looking forward to this conversation with another great thought leader in our series about internet security and safety. We’re going to get right to it today, we’re joined by Tamra Bryant. Tamra is a friend and an awesome attorney in my hometown of Fairhope, Alabama. Tamra, welcome to the show!

Tamra Bryant: Good morning Joe, thank you for having me.

Joe Lavelle: Well, thanks so much for joining us today. Before we start our discussion today Tamra, could you take a few minutes, and tell the audience about you and your background?

Tamra Bryant: Sure, I’ll be happy to. Again, my name is Tamra Bryant and I am an attorney here in Fairhope, Alabama. I grew up and was born and raised in Alabama, Central Alabama exactly and I worked for a general practice attorney for about 5 years. I left there and worked as a judicial assistant to the private judge in Talladega County for another 5 before I decided to go into the legal field myself and obtain my law degree. Then I prosecuted for Baldwin County until I decided to open up my own practice and I have been practicing on my own for a little over a year now here at Bryant Law in Fairhope.

Joe Lavelle: Awesome, thanks for that. Tamra, let’s get right to it, what are the top 2 or 3 things that you would tell parents regarding the safety of their children on the Internet?

Tamra Bryant: Well, the way society has become lately were everything around us is linked to the internet, our children are just immersed in it from the time they start school. Now, they have Chromebooks or laptops where they are constantly having to use the internet, and while I think they try to put precautions in place, we as parents are the gatekeeper for our children. And so many times myself included have given our children phones, which they have access to anything on that.

Well, I decided to take the stand that my child would not have access to the internet on his phone. So, I think that can help a lot. If you aren’t aware of what’s out there, just to come and throw it out there, Apple actually according to their Federal Government Affairs Officer reported that they have a 100,000 app submissions a week and they only reject 36,000. Well, one way to counter this is to have passwords and that seems very elementary, but so many of the children that I know, they know the passwords, so they just go in, they enter the password, they download all the apps and they got apps on their phone that most of the parents aren’t aware of what these apps do.

There’s no way with that so many apps launching that you can actively know what’s going on in the background of these apps if you aren’t controlling that. So, I think number one you should have a password that only you know, that your child doesn’t know. Number two, I think that just like anything you got to limit the time. When these children have just unfettered access to the internet all day and night then they have time to do things that you don’t. They find different apps, they find different sites and if you limit that time, it limits what they can be exposed to. And three, I would say just oversight. When was the last time you looked at your child’s phone? When was the last time you looked at the search history? When was the last time you went in and you looked at each one of these apps, so I think we really have to do our job as a parent to not only have passwords that they don’t know but limit that time that they are exposed to the internet what they can see? Once they see it, they can’t un-see it and I promise you they will continually go back to a certain site, look at things, watch videos, once you planted that seed it’s hard to take that back.

Joe Lavelle: Tamra, one of the things that I was thinking as you were talking and as we’ve talked about this before is we’re both parenting young men about the same age is sometimes because of our jobs we know how the sausage is made. In this case, you have access and you see things that happen on the bad side of this, and without really asking you to divulge what goes on in the court system, how does that impact how do you determine who and what you allow your child to associate with?

Tamra Bryant: Well, I did have somewhat of an advantage being able to see different people in the courtroom as I was assigned to the domestic violence docket. So, you’re able to see people in your community in different positions, and for me what I’ve used as guidance is number one I’m involved in church and I want to be able to have my child to have the background and I know who my child is around, so I pay attention. I’m very mindful, I look for things, I interact with the parents at the baseball field or basketball, and when you’re sitting in the stands you have a lot of time during these games to learn parents, to learn their style of parenting because it’s just not what you do in your home, but it’s also you’re going to allow your child to be in another home, do they allow their children to stay up until 10, 11, 12 o’clock at night on devices? Well, the rule in my home is his phone, his IPad and Xbox come to me at 9 o’clock he is no longer allowed to be on it. And you would be amazed at the children that are texting after 9 o’clock at night. So, I think you just have to be aware of what the other families do in their homes, which is fine. That’s their discretion, what they do, but I just don’t want my child because we have to protect them, and I assure you if you aren’t doing your job as a parent, there are other sources out there that they will find this information. They will use it and allowing, in my opinion, allowing children to be online at 10, 11, 12 o’clock at night it’s just again you’re allowing too much time for them to have access to things that they shouldn’t have access to and they will find it.

Joe Lavelle: Yes, they will. Tamra, what is the most important thing that we can do to equip our children if we’re not there to oversee them or if somehow they will be in a situation where they got to make some decisions on their own?

Tamra Bryant: The biggest thing is education and that sounds elementary and I’m sure I’m not telling anything profound, but it is. It’s to educate your children that when they’re in these certain games that are very popular right now… when you and I were growing up if you had a system, you put a game in there and there was no connection to the internet, or if you had a phone it was a dial number, you didn’t have access to the internet. So you got to educate them, you got to let your children know hey, there are people that can talk to you. You don’t talk to people you don’t know. You don’t add people to these groups in these games that you don’t know because I assure you there are sexual predators out there and you have the access and the tools, ALEA, which is Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has a community information center on their website, and just in the city of Fairhope within 10 miles there are 71 sex offenders, and that number is going to be larger depending on your zip code, but you have access to go in, put in your actual address to see how close they are to your address. But know that there are no boundaries on these games, these apps.

The very popular apps right now, people can pinpoint and ping the address, they can come to your house and I assure you these sexual predators on your children are going to take the time, they are not going to be creepy and say hey, give me your number I’m coming to your house right now. They are going to take the time to groom them, to befriend them, and so again it goes back to education and letting them know don’t add people or don’t speak to people they don’t know and you as a parent, the best thing to do is surprise you kids, walk in there, ask them who they are talking to, talk to the kids, be a part of the games where you can enter these games at any time and see who they are talking to and check the search history.

Joe Lavelle: Tamra, I don’t know if people can really understand how profound that one statistic was. 71 sex offenders, we have 18,000 people in Fairhope, Alabama. It may be I don’t know, 10 miles by 5 miles the whole town of Fairhope, so you probably can’t draw a one-mile circle anywhere where there is not a sex offender, and I would consider Fairhope pretty affluent. People are moving here from other parts of Alabama because we have good schools because we have great housing, because it’s a nice place to live, and I can only imagine in a place that might have a bigger crime rate than Fairhope, might have more bad influences, what that number looks like. So I’m really surprised it’s 71 and I hope that people really understand how bad that number is.

Tamra Bryant: Right. These are sex offenses, so they range in category of what they are, and a lot of time I believe that parents are not educated because they are not around it and I believe that my background has allowed me to be around it to see it, and a lot of times you see other areas have major crimes, major crimes meaning murders and robberies, but sex offenses are just as bad if now worse than your major crimes, because sex offenders don’t walk around with a sign and they are not out there saying hey, I’m going to prey on your child, but they are out there and you need to be cognizant of this and realize how close they are and the law is. The local sheriff’s department or police department will pass out flyers to let you know they are in your community, but you have the tools at your fingertips to go in, to put your exact address or put your zip code in to find out where they are. Show your children, show your children these pictures. That way they are aware of these predators that are out there to protect them because if you don’t, then it’s too late once something happens.

Joe Lavelle: Tamra, given all these things we’ve talked about, what’s the most important thing that we can do as parents?

Tamra Bryant: Parent 24/7. Like I said that’s the biggest thing is to be involved and be active in your children’s lives, and it’s so hard these days even with myself, I’m a single mom and I’m very active in the community as well as with my son in his sports and it’s hard when you get caught up in day to day life of trying to make ends meet. But you’ve really got to take the time and the children they will talk, and that’s the biggest thing. If you paying attention to what they are saying, you’ll realize what they have access to and what they are seeing and what they are doing and as long as you parenting 24/7 and you’re being proactive, it’s so much easier than being reactive.

So, take that time, look through those search histories. Make sure you’re the only one that has passwords to it and I assure you I’m not a popular parent to him and he gets angry at me, but at the end of the day if I don’t take these steps, it’s too late once something happens to him. So I would rather he be angry at me and I tell him, I’m not his best friend, I’m his parent and he knows he can come to me and talk to me with things, but I’ve got to protect him and that’s why you got to parent 24/7.

Joe Lavelle: Great advice, thank you for that. I want to take this time to get everyone who is listening, go out to www.tbryantlaw.com, bookmark that site, check out the site, see how Tamra’s firm serves our great community here in Fairhope. Tamra, it was so great to have you on the show, thanks for stopping by and sharing your great insights.

Tamra Bryant: Thank you for having me.

Joe Lavelle: It’s our pleasure and that wraps this broadcast. On behalf of our guest, Tamra Bryant, I am Joe Lavelle, and we’ll see you soon on intrepidNOW Lifestyle.

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Joe Lavelle

Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare at intrepidNow
JOE LAVELLE is a Healthcare Management and Technology Consultant with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, and health care companies for 25 years. Joe worked his way up through Cap Gemini and Andersen Consulting to the partner/VP level of at First Consulting Group, Technology Solutions Group and Santa Rosa Consulting. After running his own company, Results First Consulting, for 12 years Joe Co-Founded intrepidNow with Todd Schnick to create incredible content to dramatically improve the sales and marketing efforts of their clients.
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JOE LAVELLE is a Healthcare Management and Technology Consultant with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, and health care companies for 25 years. Joe worked his way up through Cap Gemini and Andersen Consulting to the partner/VP level of at First Consulting Group, Technology Solutions Group and Santa Rosa Consulting. After running his own company, Results First Consulting, for 12 years Joe Co-Founded intrepidNow with Todd Schnick to create incredible content to dramatically improve the sales and marketing efforts of their clients.


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