'Think Before You Click': How To Protect Your Kids on Social Media

The case has many parents wondering what their kids need to know about the risks of taking and sharing these types of pictures.

Sumter County, SC (WLTX) -- The story of a 17-year-old boy charged with showing nude pictures of other students at the school has many parents wondering what their kids need to know about the risks of taking and sharing these types of pictures.

"They live in the moment," said Darlene Dellinger, an investigative sergeant with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department. 

Dellinger said she sees cases of sharing nude photos frequently.

"They don't think of the consequences or repercussions of their actions," she said.

Whether these photos are being sent through a text message or an app, the outcome is the same. "These images could live forever."

Teens may think it's okay to send inappropriate photos through apps, where photos disappear after a certain amount of time, but Dellinger said that is not the case.

"You can't control what someone is going to screenshot or what someone is going to save. That thing may come back to haunt you later," she said.

To prevent these cases from happening, Dellinger said the first thing parents should do is have a conversation with their child. She said some children don't understand the power of cell phones.

"You wouldn't give your 12-year-old or 13-year-old the keys to your vehicle and put them on the road, and tell them to drive without any instruction," she said.

Another suggestion to keep your children safe is to have your child's password, so you can regularly check on what they are doing.

"One of the things parents need to know is that your child doesn't tell  you everything. Power of peer pressure goes way beyond any level of parenting skills you may have. Not that your child isn't trustworthy, but your child may succumb to peer pressure sometimes, so go behind them. Check, do it yourself. Don't just rely on that app or your child to do that," said Dellinger.

As for those children peer pressuring, or feeling pressured, to send inappropriate photos, Dellinger said to think before you click.

"Think about the consequences and where that's going to end up. Think about the lack of control you're going to have once that image is out there forever and there's nothing nobody can do to get that back."

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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