There is a new sheriff in town, well a new cop. Computer cop is the new software helping parents police their children's activity online. Bay County Sheriff's Office is giving away the program for free.
"So the parents can see: One, where the children are navigating through the web, and two if there is anybody sending stuff to the children that they can be aware of," said Investigator Andrew Husar.
Officials say the software is easy to use. It's as simple as popping the CD into your computer and waiting for the welcome screen once. Once that comes up you hit the top icon and follow the directions.
"If there is a potential predator out there that is sending images, sending text messages, or sending anything like that, we can use to identify who that predator is that is trying to come after the children," said Husar.
Computer Cop software can identify images and documents on your child's computer and will even alert you when your child tries to visit a certain website. Not only can the software help parents protect their children, but it can also help authorities catch and convict online predators.
"We can use that as evidence in trying to identify the predator and as actual evidence in future court proceedings against them if they send images or they violate a statute in any way," said Husar.
The Bay County Sheriff's Office will be offering classes to help parents understand the program and how to use it.
"We are going to set up some kind of time frame when I'll be available, either after hours or later in the afternoon here at the sheriff's office, where I can guide the parents through how to use the CD how to set up the keyword searches and give them a glimpse of what to look for on the computers," said Husar.
The Sheriff's office will set up a time frame for those classes in the future. The software is available at the Bay County Sheriff's Office on Highway 77.