Internet Safety: Why we ALL need to practice it

In today's day and age technology has become more than a gadget or a fad, it has become our way of life.  Most communication is done through technology whether it be a cell phone, email, computer, tablet or social media.

Social media consists of hundreds of different websites that mine information about everyone.  The purpose of social media is to create your online persona and share every little detail from what you did when you woke up to major family events.  School achievements and even criminal downfalls.  What and where you post information can greatly effect you, your families, and even your career.

Fact:  Employers and colleges are now requiring your social media sites as part of the application process.  This means that what you post online can make the difference in you being chosen for a job or scholarship over someone else.

Fact:  Online predators can learn more about you from your social media than you would ever be willing to tell a stranger in person.  That means that you under normal circumstances would refrain from telling a complete stranger in person your details of your life, but yet you post them for the entire online world to see.  Your online "Friends" can be just as harmful in sharing information about you.

Fact:  Children under the age of 15 share naked photos on a regular basis through social networking with people whom they do not even know and would never do in person.  Children understand the physical idea of "stranger danger" when someone approaches them but feel safe in their own home and feel anonymous with their online social media.  Children have disclosed that they would rather text and communicate via social media than talk in real person.

Fact:  Generations of parents do not understand the technology they are allowing their children to use.  Parents must take the time to get to know the devices being used by their children as well as understand the social media they are using.

Fact:  Online predators know what your children like, dislike, music, movies and social lifestyles because they want to be the sole person in that child's life to steal them away from everything they know.

Below are some links to helpful Internet safety sites.  Please educate yourselves to protect our children from online sexual exploitation.