Police offer social media awareness tips to parents

Published: Aug. 17, 2015 at 9:15 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2015 at 9:15 PM CDT
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HARTSELLE, AL (WAFF) - A lot of parents are having a hard time keeping up with their kids' social media use.

The Hartselle Police Department held a seminar Monday about how to start conversations about sexting and cyber-bullying with their youngsters.

Officers showed parents how to keep up with what their children are doing on their phones and online.

"We talk about some of the different things that you can put on phones so you can monitor what your child is doing," said Hartselle Police Chief Officer Michael Hudson. "What text messages or photos they're sending, receiving, so that you can turn those things off."

One of the lessons: When the adults started taking over Facebook, it stopped being cool - and kids logged off.

Instagram and Twitter are the new "kings" among teens on social media, but new apps and website come out daily - and officers say parents must pay attention.

They suggest learning the online lingo, follow your children on social media sites, and take advantage of apps that allow parents to monitor and limit social media use.

"The main thing is to just make sure that you're involved, and don't just trust that they're always doing the right thing," said Hudson.

Police also warn that kids will often create two accounts - one for their parents, the other for friends - so check for alternate accounts.

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