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Beware of What You Share

Danielle Mahler

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On Monday, May 1st 2017 Sahuaro’s assembly was used to inform students of the dangers of using the internet, and how to use it safely. Sahuaro’s guest speaker began by explaining some ways to use the internet dangerously.

His first example was the act of sexting. Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages primarily between mobile phones. When minors send sexually explicit photos it is considered child pornography and even parents can receive charges. Sending these photos as an adolescent can lead to heavy fines, jail time, a criminal record, and becoming a registered sex offender.

Not only is it illegal, but with social media, information spreads fast. Once something is put up on the internet it can never be fully erased. When personal photos like these spread through social media, it can cause bullying from other students, depression, and drug use. Sahuaro’s guest speaker advised students to be careful and think before giving into the peer pressure of sending photos. It’s not worth it!

Thinking about the future is extremely important. When applying for a college or a job opportunity it’s a good idea to have a clean history on the internet. Most jobs and colleges do a thorough background check before accepting any applications.

Avoiding situations like these is as easy as saying “No!”. If a sexually explicit photo is sent, show the image and messages to a parent, guardian, or school or law enforcement official. Do not under any circumstance forward the messages to any other person. This makes you just as guilty!

Sexting is not the only danger of the internet. When searching the internet or passing time on social media, it is crucial to stay safe and away from cyber predators. To avoid online predators keep social media profiles private and only accept requests from people that you know. The guest speaker informed students to be skeptical and share as little personal information as possible over the internet. It doesn’t take much information for a cyber predator to find their victim.

Sexting and cyber predators are very  intimidating dangers to be cautious about. The guest speaker also informed Sahuaro students about cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Many teens have gotten into serious trouble with the authorities because of cyber bullying. This includes multiple changes and possible a felony. If you or a friend is being cyber bullied talk to a parent, teacher, or a trusted adult. There are many resources available when help is needed.

Although the internet comes with overwhelming dangers it is still a great tool to take advantage of. Being cautious and careful while using it is a smart idea.

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