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Student Internet and Social Media Use

Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 2:39 p.m. CDT

Technology plays a very important role in our everyday lives. We use technology for work, studying, shopping, and interactions with one another, to name a few of the uses.  As we approach the beginning of a new school year, I would like to remind everyone about the information that was presented last fall by Karen P. Gale-FBI victim specialist and changes in Iowa law.   

Gale’s presentation focused on keeping students safe from cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, online sexploitation, and from revealing too much personal information. She provided guidance for parents to implement at home so they can monitor what their children are doing on the Internet and social media. Many of the suggestions are common sense, but can be daunting at times to implement. She suggested the following:

• Set rules for all devices and know who is connecting with your children online.

• Keep the computer in a high traffic area of the home.

• Establish a list of online sites children may visit.

• Establish a length of time that children can be online.

• Establish limits on cell phones

• Monitor mobile devices

Last week I came across an opinion article in the Des Moines Register. The article focused on a new law that went into effect July 1, 2017. The law is intended to protect individuals from revenge porn activities. The new law could unknowingly have devastating consequences for children if they are participating in careless activities such as sexting or posting inappropriate photos of others on social media.  

I have provided the link to the article for parents and patrons to read, desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2017/07/10/new-revenge-porn-law-could-snag-sexting-teens/465718001/. The advice at the end of the article is extremely important to review with your children so they do not find themselves in a difficult position with law enforcement authorities.

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