Officials talk back to school social media safety - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Officials talk back to school social media safety

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Authorities say posting pics of your kids on social media can put them at risk and attract unwanted attention.

The images posted of your children can be photoshopped for other purposes by child predators or offenders.

Montgomery resident Lori Collier is a mother of two. Although her children are young she pays very close attention to what she post of them on social media.

"I don't post them at all," said Lori Collier. "That is one thing I am afraid of. The mistakes we made as kids nobody can prove those. Nowadays these things don't die they are out there forever."

Collier isn't the only one with concerns. Other parents and grandparents in Montgomery have their children's safety top of mind. 

"We want them to be very careful as to what they post. It is personal information and a lot of people have access to it. They just need to be cautious," said Rick Geesey.

Jannah Bailey, Executive Director of Child Protect, says it is easy for images to fall into the wrong hands.

"They can copy and paste those pictures just as easily as grandma and grandpa in another state," said Jannah Bailey, Executive Director of Child Protect.

Authorities say parents should be monitoring their kids usages of the internet and electronic devices. Those are gateways for child predators to communicate with your kids.

"A lot of time predators are not honest. They may be portraying themselves as a 12-year-old. Children innocently say I go to this school and I live in this neighborhood never imagining that person could be stalking them," said Bailey.

Child Protect points out that communication between a parent and a child is the first step in protecting them.

"When it gets to us it means the child has actually sent an image to someone or they have met up with someone. It gets reported and by that time it has escalated," said Bailey.

Basic online safety rules:

  • Avoid posting photos online!
  • Avoid giving out names, addresses, phone numbers, schools, banking information or other similar information
  • Never meet someone you only know online
  • Do not share your password!
  • Do not believe everything you read. If it's online, it doesn't necessarily mean it is true
  • Avoid "checking-in" and geo-tagging
  • For older kids that use social networks, remind them that everything online is permanent. Screenshots, caches and other tools mean that even deleting a post or comment won't make it go away. Tell them to pause and think through every post.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. 

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