Steven Pierangeli, chief assistant prosecutor for Berrien County, stopped by Rotary to provide messages that he has been delivering around the community.  His two primary topics were Sexting and Cyberbullying. First, he said sexting involves send photos and videos over the internet.  He suggest parents start a conversation with those who have access to phones with texting capabilities. 
His suggested starting questions are:
  • What are your favorite websites?  Have you seen objectionable pop  ups?
  • Who are texting with?
  • May I look at your feed?
  • How do you choose which people to accept as friends??
  • What personal info do you share?
He also recommends you maintain access to your children's web activities; no secret passwords or lockouts.
Some teens are sending nude selfies to their boyfriends, expecting it to be private.  But, it often happens that the photo or video will be quickly shared with a wide circle of associates.  This can be devastating.  It's a crime for someone to ask you for a inappropriate photo, punishable by up to 20 years and/or $100.000 in fines.
 
Cyberbullying, i.e., sending threats over the internet, was recently made a crime in Michigan.
 
For more tips go to
 
   www.kidsmartz.org/ParentTips
 
and www.netsmartz.org.