Law enforcement and specialists say talk to your kids about online safety

After a missing teen is found with an older man, officers encourage social media talks

Law enforcement and specialists say talk to your kids about online safety

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A 13-year-old is back home in Pelham with her family after a three-day search across the state.

Officers, agents and child specialists are stressing the importance of talking to your children about their friends.

Beth Jackson, a therapist with the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville says it’s crucial for parents or guardians to have online safety talks with their kids.

“It’s not talking at kids it’s talking with them. It’s not that I think you’re stupid, it’s just that I know that anyone including adults are and can be manipulated," Jackson said.

There’s three points Jackson touches on.

1. Privacy is a myth when it comes to social media. She says, anything you do is public and permanent and that’s for everyone including adults.

2. Adults need to be models of the behavior they want to observe.

3. Have continuous conversations with your kids about dating relationships.

Jackson says at younger ages, children are curious and get exposed to dating, so be sure you’re the first to talk to them.

Jackson also stresses that you never know who’s behind that computer or cell phone.

So taking precautionary measures with your kids, could prevent them getting into dangerous situations.

“We can all be vulnerable at times. Here’s some things to do, here’s some ways to operate. and that’s just being careful and cautious and who has access to your profiles," Jackson continued.

The NCAC recommends a few sites to look over before talking with your children.

- Net Family News

- Kid Smartz

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