Social Media Safety
Keeping kids safe online is tough to do when we, as parents, don’t really understand what’s out there. On Wednesday, January 30 at 6:00 p.m. the Ukiah Police Department (UPD) and Ukiah High School (UHS) are teaming up to present, “Digital Safety,” a program to educate parents about how to keep their teens and pre-teens safe online. The program is open to the public and will be presented at the UHS Cafeteria.
In the meantime, here are some tips to keep children safe. Let your teens and pre-teens know:
1. Privacy is a myth. Only share information electronically that would be okay if re-posted on all your friends’ (and enemies’) facebook pages.
2. Be a good person. Just because you feel anonymous, doesn’t give you the right to be mean or spiteful. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it online.
3. Connect in person. Time with friends is great. Get together. Do something fun. Practice talking face-to-face; it’s becoming a lost art.
4. People who seem nice online may not be. Don’t share private information. Don’t agree to meet in person.
5. Cyber bullying is real. Don’t do it. Don’t encourage it. If you’re a victim, seek help.
6. You are what you post. Want to get a job or go to college? Employers and admissions officers often surf social networking sites to learn more about applicants. Think about how you want to represent yourself.
7. No take backs. Once information is shared digitally, it belongs to the world. Ask your future self, “Could this come back to haunt me?”
Lots of excellent resources exist online. I shared some in my last column, but thought a few more might be helpful.
Netsmartz, a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: www.onguardonline.gov/topics/protect-kids-online
- Onguardonline: www.onguardonline.gov/topics/protect-kids-online
- Safe Kids: www.SafeKids.com
- Google Family Safety Center: www.google.com/intl/en/goodtoknow/familysafety/
- Family Media Agreement
As always, our mission at the Ukiah Police Department is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.