Parents take a lesson in social media to keep their kids safe

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Updated: 11/14/2013 10:22 pm

LATHAM, N.Y. - Staying ahead of your kids when it comes to social media sites is becoming harder and harder, so at least one school district is taking the time to educate parents.

Parents were at Shaker Junior High School on Thursday night to learn how to keep their kids safe, not just from predators but also from themselves. Social sites have made it all too easy for kids to make major public mistakes.

Parents were asked if they knew what certain websites and phone applications were on Thursday night. 

Kathy Whitsett, a mother of two says, “Some of them I've never heard of, some of them I have, so I just want to understand what the pit falls are.”

Parents came to shaker junior high to learn what their kids are up to.  And what they can do.

“Being aware of what they're doing,” explained Stacey Angell, a Student Assistant Counselor, “checking into what they're doing, and just having open communication with them.”

Angell specializes in social media and suggests that if parents don’t know about websites, they should look it up online.

Most parents like Karen Gomez have a Facebook.

“I have Facebook,” said Gomez, “I got it to watch my daughters.”

While Gomez has taken the step to keep her daughters safe online, Angell says she and other parents need to do their homework about new apps and websites.

“Have their kids show them their phones their tablets,” continued Angell, “Go through the different apps with them and show them.”

Gomez is a Marketing Specialist as well as a mother of two.  She told NEWS10 ABC it's become so common for companies and schools to use the web to learn about candidates that a simple picture or post can have major consequences.

Angell suggests parents start the conversation about social media with their kids, even if they think they aren't getting into trouble. And while profiles online may look private, that doesn’t mean information can’t get out and stay on the internet.

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to social media. 

It’s recommended that if you think your child is getting bullied or harassed online, or posting things they shouldn't, contact your school for the best advice on how to handle the situation. 

 

 

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