Name: Doug Stice
Family: Wife, two children (12, 15), a border collie named Rocky and a rescue cat named Apollo.
Inland Empire Community
Social Media: Virtual Cyber Cop
Doug Stice never imagined himself as cyber cop. But as technology kept advancing, Stice found himself with two young daughters and a burning desire to keep them safe from the predators and other threats. So he educated himself. Then he began educating his friends and family until he was inspired to launch his website Virtual Cyber Cop, a free resource for parents to learn about the potential dangers lurking on the web.
How long have you been running the Virtual Cyber Cop website? Why did you decide to start this website?
Over the past two years, the cyber dangers that face children have exploded.
I don’t claim to know everything, nor do I call myself a cyber guru. I started out just sharing information that I learned with friends and family on how to protect their children and their families. The information that I shared with them quickly began to spread to their friends and family members and before I knew it I was getting many of the same questions or problems asked over and over.
I quickly realized that these parents were just like me, so I put together a simple website called Virtual Cyber Cop. I just launched the website in February of this year.
Tell us a little about the Virtual Cyber Cop website. What kind of information can parents find there?
The best thing on the website, in my opinion, is the Weekly Newsletter. In the Weekly Newsletter, I cover App Reviews, Online Gaming, YouTube, trends, Current Cases, a little bit of everything. It just depends on what’s going on that week.
There is a blog section that has some great articles for parents; my suggested ‘ban apps’ from your household list. Most of the interviews are with kids that have experienced cyber threats, bullying, sextortion, etc which are very informative for parents.
What is the number one piece of advice you’d like to give parents about keeping their children safe on the internet?
Parents have to know what their children are doing on the internet, or at least present the illusion that they know. What parents don’t realize is that it’s not necessarily what your kid is doing on the internet, it’s what your kid is going to receive via the internet that is generally the issue, and it’s not usually from a sexual predator, it’s from their “friends.”
What is one piece of advice you wish you would have gotten before becoming a parent?
Parenting is definitely a journey. I often get so caught up in the day to day challenges, decisions, emotions, frustrations, worries that I forget sometimes what my Grandpa told me… “enjoy.”
What is the best part about being a parent? The most stressful? The most surprising?
It’s the little things; their first words, steps, laughs, the innocence. I have really enjoyed the last few years watching our daughter turn into a little lady and our boy starting to find his own way, with his own voice. I just love it.
Anything else you think our readers would want to know about?
I think more parents need to be more concerned about their children’s Internet Safety and the amount of screen time their children are having every day. Parents need to come to terms with the fact that their child WILL have several Cyber/Social Media issues/incidents that their children will have to navigate starting as early as age 6.
As parents we must get and stay involved in our children’s digital life, until it’s time for them to fly on their own.