How safe is social media use for your children? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How safe is social media use for your children?

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Police say don’t swear off social media, but have an open conversation with your kids about it. Police say don’t swear off social media, but have an open conversation with your kids about it.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

One local mom found out her 10-year-old daughter was being victimized by a 41-year-old man, according to a Spokane Police investigation.

That man, Donald Mead, was arrested and made his first court appearance Wednesday. This raises the question of how safe are our kids?

Police say don’t swear off social media, but have an open conversation with your kids about it.

Teresa Fuller is a Spokane Police officer, but that’s not all. 

“I’m a newly minted teenage parent. And we've had a lot of conversations about that, about the rules,” she says.

She says having a parent involved in setting up social media is important, so children can't fake their age.

“There are protections that are set up through some of these apps to help protect those minor children,” Fuller says.

The most recent case involved the use of the apps Kik, Hangouts, and Meet Me, all which allow some form of private messaging. Meet Me actually uses your location, and shows you people who are close to you who you can chat with.

These are the kinds of apps that police say you should definitely talk to your kids about:

  • Tell your child to trust your instinct.
  • If something feels weird, tell someone.
  • If it's something you wouldn't say to your parent or a trusted adult, don't say it online

“We’ve had those conversations and I have his password. I check in from time to time. I don't check every day. As a parent that's my responsibility and if he breaks the rules then we have a time out for a while,” Fuller says.

Most cell phone service carriers also have the option for parents to monitor everything their child does on their phones for an additional fee.

Instructions for Parental Controls on iPhone/iPad: http://www.real.com/resources/iphone-parental-controls/

Instructions for Parental Controls on Android: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/google-android/parental-control-on-android-image-3461359/

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