Internet safety session to help Kamloops parents deal with teens social media use - InfoNews

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Internet safety session to help Kamloops parents deal with teens social media use

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May 02, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Police and school district officials in Kamloops are hoping to educate parents about their teenagers' social media usage.

A presentation is being held for parents next week and will feature guest speaker Jesse Miller, who is a national speaker on social media awareness and internet safety.

Const. Sofie Winkels, school liason for School District 73, says the presentation isn't to scare parents or kids, it's to teach them about the potential risks behind social media.

"It is overwhelming to be able to inform parents about things like Snapchat," Winkels says. "Companies are monitoring everything they do... We have to have that conversation."

Winkels says there is a clear gap between the knowledge many parents have about social media compared to their kids. 

"The way I always explain it to the kids… (is) when parents' technology breaks, they get their kids to fix it."

Winkels says about half of the parents she deals with have at least some understanding of social media through their own Facebook, Instagram or even Snapchat accounts. But other parents don't have any experience with the different platforms and are overwhelmed by the thought of it.

Winkels says issues with social media make up about 50 to 60 per cent of the issues RCMP experience with schools. One message they try to drive home to kids is although apps like Snapchat say your picture will disappear after you send it, the company still has access to the content.

"What is this company getting out of it?" Winkels says. "You don’t get something for nothing... Are you giving away your privacy to send funny pictures to your friends?"

The presentation will be held Tuesday, May 9 at the Henry Grube Educational Centre at 6:30 p.m.

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