The Ray of Hope Children’s Advocacy Center held an Internet safety program at Page School Center on Tuesday to inform concerned citizens about the importance of computer safety.
During a presentation was given by Jim McKinney of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, important information was shared to keep kids safe and to protect important information that could easily be stolen electronically.
McKinney went over several aspects of Internet safety, including problems associated with an individual giving too much personal information on social networking. He also went over safer ways to conduct transactions online as well.
McKinney stated a person should not give out information that could aid a predator in locating a victim.
“Part of the problem we have today is that we may be exposing information and not realize it,” said McKinney.
According to McKinney, some smart phones (such as the iphone and Android phones) have the technology that allows geotagging. Geotagging embeds the latitude and longitude for the location where a photo is taken, which could help a predator find a victim.
“A person might post a photo online and not even know they have exposed their home’s location,” said McKinney.
McKinney did state Facebook disables that information from being embedded in photos, but other websites do not. He suggest that people go to the settings on their smart phones and turn off the feature before taking a photo. People can still use the geolocator feature for certain apps, but turning off geotagging will protect people from any info being embedded into the photo.
To help with safety, McKinney suggests families have their computer located in a common area in the home. He also recommends parents set parental controls for the computer, as well as having an updated anti-virus.
Updated anti-virus software can help prevent malware or other viruses from be placed on a computer without the owners knowing. Malware can be used to steal identities and account numbers.
McKinney commended the Bell County School District and the Ray of Hope for having the program for concerned citizens.
“Being informed is important,” said McKinney. “If we are not aware of a problem, we are not going to be able to address it.”
Ray of Hope Executive Director Gina Johnson said the program was phenomenal and informative.
Johnson said the program was an eye opener for her too in knowing what is really out there as far as technology goes.
“It’s scary to think about what’s out there,” said Johnson.
Anthony Cloud can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.