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January 31, 2014

Learning how to fly safely in cyber space

Peaster students receive tips, info on what, and what not, to post to social media sites

By SALLY SEXTON

PEASTER — Students within Peaster ISD got a little more insight into how the digital world works, as Matt Tibbetts, with TBG Solutions, presented BeSafe in CyberSpace to high school, middle and elementary students Thursday.

The assemblies were designed to outline some concerns and truths about social media apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

“Social media is like driving your vehicle in snow and ice,” Tibbetts told students at Peaster Middle School. “You’ve got to be a little more careful than you normally would.”

Tibbetts went on to explain the amount of personal information released on websites such as Facebook, and gave some examples of where social media users were caught in unfortunate situations due to some of their posts.

“If you put a picture online, no matter if you delete it, it is there forever,” he said. “People have lost job opportunities or school scholarships.

“Nowadays, job recruiters use social media sites as a way to do background checks before they hire you.”

Tibbetts also cautioned against releasing information through smartphones.

“If you put something on your phone that you don’t want the world to see, then you’re using your cell phone irresponsibly,” he said.

Tibbetts also addressed cyber bullying, noting that many cases of bullying online came from students about the same age as the Peaster students.

“Just because you’re 12 or 13 years old, doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences,” he said. “There was one case where a sheriff tracked down two girls that were cyber bullying another and sent them to a juvenile detention center.”

As a parting word, Tibbetts encouraged the students to be aware of bullying in all situations, and to be the first one to take a stand, either by saying something or reporting the incident.

“Don’t be a part of the problem,” he said. “Be part of the cure.”

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