By JEFFREY M. CRESPINOSADEN, AP Denver BureauChiefThe number of Colorado children under age 18 having access to the Internet increased nearly 7% last year, the state Department of Health and Environment reported Thursday.
The state agency reported a total of 3,913 Colorado children were living with internet-based services in January, up from 2,746 the previous year.
That increase came despite the state having one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the country.
In a statement, the department said: “The Internet is a wonderful platform for our kids, but it is also a platform that can be exploited by hackers, scam artists and other criminal actors.”
While we are aware of the increasing sophistication of cybercrime and other online crime, the number of children who are having access at home or school is too high to ignore.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Colorado Department for Children and Families have worked hard to improve internet safety.
“The state also reported that children were accessing the internet at an alarming rate.
That number has climbed by nearly 3,000 per day, or about 22% of the state’s population, the agency said.
The agency said the state had a total 1,924 children in foster care, which includes children living with a parent or legal guardian who was a foster parent.