BGPD discusses internet etiquette amid back to school

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – The PEW Research Center found that in 2021, 72% of Americans used social media, with use of all major social media sites rising during the pandemic.

As use of the sites becomes more popular, so does oversharing. Meaning those back to school photos, could have some unintended consequences.

“If you share information about your child, and it shows what school that they go to, that does create some inherent danger,” said the Bowling Green Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Ronnie Ward.

Ward isn’t telling parents not to share information online, but simply to be careful what they do share.

“Make it very generic,” Ward said, “You can turn off your location services with pictures so that people can’t tell where you took that picture from.”

Likewise, Ward also warns of giving children unfettered internet access.

“None of us would go on vacation and leave our front door open. If you take your child, hand them an electronic device, put them in a room, and shut the door, essentially it’s doing the same thing. You’re allowing your child ultimate access to the entire world, basically in their hand.”

Ward advises parents to be vigilant of what their children are doing on their devices, as well talk to them about proper internet etiquette.

“We all want to be vigilant about knowing who they’re talking to, what they’re talking about, and making sure that they’re not talking to people you don’t know. Even if it says that this person is the same age as your child, but you don’t know them, I wouldn’t trust that at all.”

While there hasn’t been any incident recently of using social media to stalk others, Ward stands that parents should remain alert of their children’s internet usage.

“I think they need to be worried about it, I think they need to be concerned about it. I think you should continually monitor your son or daughter’s social media accounts and their electronic devices.”

More information on internet safety for children can be found here.

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