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Committed to our


Communication has become mostly digital, and we, adults
and children alike, are glued to our devices. It is enough to manage
our own social media footprint and internet usage, but do we
know how our children are using social media and the internet?
Do we know who our children are interacting with? Does your
child know who their new online friend actually is? According to
Ms. Stuart, just a picture can give a predator enough information
to begin to use small clues to locate and start communicating with
our kids. That fact alone makes you think twice about posting
your child's photo on Facebook, Instagram, or sending to friends
via Snapchat. If the photo is not enough, Ms. Stuart also said
an email address and username are equivalent to a social security
number on the internet. That is all someone with bad intentions
needs to know to obtain your or your child's entire internet history.
So how can you combat that? She recommends using different
email addresses and creating different usernames for each account.
While it may be an inconvenience, it makes a digital footprint a
little less traceable.
While the statistics alone are enough to scare you away from
the internet, it is still a huge part of our daily lives and sometimes
our primary form of communication. Some of the top internet
dangers you should be informed about are:
* Cyberbullying and stalking can start as young as eight years
old with seven in 10 young people being the victims of

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* It takes 24 hours to traffic a child, and Snapchat is the number
one site for human trafficking.
* According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children, one in seven kids has been sexually solicited online.
* Pornography is easily accessible and settings or filters do not
always protect children from viewing it.
* Children and teens can damage their reputations through
social media posts and pictures that come back to haunt them,
or through cyberbullying.
* Teens, as early as 13 years of age, are getting involved in
"revenge porn" through increased activity on social media and
cellular applications.
(Source: Michele Stuart, Owner, JAG Investigations; Pennsylvania
Governor's Office of Homeland Security)


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Cyber security is becoming increasingly important as we
download new applications, turn to online banking, and do most
of our shopping online. Each time we access the internet, whether
it be on our phone, at work, at school, on a tablet, or on another
device, we are faced with decisions that affect our cyber security
and safety.
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