Do your kids like to lip sync along to music? If so, there’s an app for it that’s becoming more and more popular. It’s called “Musical.ly” and cyber security experts warn apps like it could be dangerous if kids aren’t careful.
One concern among all social media is the fact that people can never be sure who’s following them or their kids. Even with secure privacy settings, you never know who could be watching.
John Lovelace with NIATEC at Idaho State University, said social media apps can contain a lot of information that people don’t realize.
Things like bullying or stalking through social media can go unnoticed, making them potentially harmful. Apps like “Musical.ly” and other apps that specialize in video and pictures, can potentially be more risky because of all the hidden information it could contain. Videos could unintentionally give away personal details about you or your location, opening that information up to cyberspace.
Lovelace had some tips for those using social media.
“I would consider the timing,” he said. “Is it something that I can wait 20 minutes or an hour before posting?”
Because Lovelace said when you post something about where you are at the time you are there, that leaves you vulnerable to whoever sees it.
“You also need to be aware of who owns the information when you post it,” he added. “There are many social interaction web 2.0-type apps that they claim ownership of anything that you post on their site.”
And if you don’t own your own content, you can’t necessarily control it. Something you may decide to take down could stay on there permanently.
Lovelace said always remember never to post anything on social media you wouldn’t want your parents, future boss or future spouse to come across.
He said some advice for parents is to monitor their kids’ social media. Know what apps they are using, what those apps are and where the information is going. He also said keep communication open with your kids about what they are using and the responsibility of using those apps.
Social media and online predators isn’t a problem that’s going away. According to the FBI’s website, it continues to investigate several thousand crimes involving online child predators each year.