CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – There are many dangers for children when they use the internet, and some of these potential threats are not known to parents.
Tuesday night at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, school counselors from four counties in Ohio brought in a Columbus based company to teach children and parents about problems on the web.
Digital Danger is made up of law enforcement, educators and people experienced in technology. Two of its presenters taught families how to stay safe in today’s rapidly growing world of computers.
Dr. Tim Conrad and Officer Don Stanko told families about harm children face on the internet. Austintown Guidance Counselor Kelley Mills helped set up the program.
“Parents really need to understand the ramifications of what could happen when their kids venture off into different apps and websites and things,” Mills said.
Conrad and Stanko spoke about how people should use Facebook and Twitter, and about trends in teens who use social media. Conrad says most kids use websites properly, but some are an exception.
“These kids are not in trouble in any other part of their life. Misusing social media is their problem area,” Conrad said.
Conrad said one of the newer problems in the digital world is live casting apps, like Periscope. A New Albany, Ohio teen has recently been accused of streaming her friend’s rape on the app. Other problem apps are ones that cannot be seen on phones, or camouflage apps.
“It’s called Spy Calc. It’s a vault, where they can withhold images, apps, documents that they don’t want parents to see,” Conrad said.
Conrad said that the most important thing is for younger users to be aware of what they post.
“Post positive. Be careful about what you’re posting. What doors you’re opening and what doors you’re closing,” Conrad said.
Conrad also stated that the information presented was discovered by speaking with students throughout the state, and also by simply paying attention to what is happening on the internet.