Teens encouraged to be careful with social media

December 20, 2012

social media

Story by Miranda Beebe, MCP Correspondent.

VICTORY TWP. — “How many of you have a Facebook? OK, cool. How many of you have friends you’ve never met?”

Not a good idea, according to Michigan State Police Trooper Greg Hubers who spoke to the West Michigan Life Group recently. The group of high school students meets weekly on the campus of West Shore Community College.

Trooper Hubers faced the only person who admitted to befriending people he didn’t know. “You’ve never met them… So how do you know who they really are? Think about it, sitting on the other side could be ‘creepy guy,’ you should probably end it now… But in the end, it’s all your choice.

“Be careful about the pictures you post on Facebook,” he warned, adding to his statement that when you post a picture on your cell phone, the location of where the picture was taken can be figured out. “Let’s say you take a picture in front of your mirror with your cell phone, then you upload your picture to Facebook, you’ve just given away your address. It’s the same way that 911 knows where you are when you call.”

He also warned that computer cameras can lead to problems. There have been cases where people not only hack into the computer but also the camera, and watch you. He advised that if you have one, simply cover it up with a piece of paper when you aren’t using it.

Another thing to keep in mind, if you receive an email from someone you don’t know, delete it right away and don’t open it. There’s a possibility a virus is attached. If you enjoy online gaming, or any Internet site, never give away your personal info.

Trooper Hubers also covered the effect technology has on bullying, and how easy it makes it to hide behind your computer and say anything you want. As you sit there typing, keep in mind that hitting “delete” to erase your messages never totally erases them. Messages and pictures can still be found even after they’re deleted. “You hear this a lot, but just be kind to everyone.”

Understand that this isn’t meant to scare you, yet to make you aware of the facts, and hopefully more cautious.

Miranda Beebe is a freshman at Mason County Central High School.



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