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Commentary: Student social media safety vital


With students and teachers now back in classes across the region and province, social media use by school community members will once again be ramping up for education and communication purposes.

As such, ensuring that students in particular are using social media in a safe and secure way remains as important as ever.

With cases of child luring and other internet crimes continuing to be seen in the province, it is everyone’s best interest that safety remain an absolute priority for all stakeholders.

Alberta RCMP is again reminding parents and guardians to take precautions to protect the privacy and personal safety of their children.

While it is tempting to post photographs and other information about students taking part in school activities and functions, it also has the potential to endanger those very same students, officials say.

“By being aware of the photos and details we are posting online, we can reduce the risk of our children’s personal details being used to exploit their safety and well-being,” said Cst. Lauren Mowbray, Alberta RCMP spokesperson.

Police say parents and guardians who want to post photos of their children online should ensure the photos are taken outside of undisclosed locations and do not include visible addresses, such as house numbers or street addresses.

Parents should speak with their children about online safety and have parental monitor software or ensure parent security settings are in place on their social medial accounts.

Children should also be told to never give out personal information online or share details such as last name, address or school with anyone online.

Social media has become a vital part of the education process for tens of thousands of Alberta students – technology that is helpful in many, many ways.

Unfortunately, bad actors also continue to use social media to target young people, in some cases posing significant and troubling dangers. As such, parents and guardians are encouraged to ensure social media safety is part of their kids’ new school year.

Dan Singleton is an editor with the Albertan.

 





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