Last week, Deputy P. Silva spoke to our parents (Monday evening) and high school students (Tuesday morning) about the importance of cyber safety including: students’ digital reputation, cyber bullying and the law, and how what students do on social media now will affect their future. Deputy Silva has given these presentations for the last four years and is committed to training parents and students about the dangers and realities associated with using the Internet.
“We want to give you the information and power to make smart choices, to be a stakeholder in creating a positive online community, and to be a good digital citizen,” Deputy Silva said when opened her presentation at the high school. Here are some of the many points she made with the high school students:
- Younger people are watching you. Be aware of what you are saying to them when you post.
- How long does something last after you post it? FOREVER! Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat… It doesn’t matter.
- Set your Privacy Settings to “Private.”
- Public – anyone can see what you post, including good people, bad people, felons, online predators
- Only Friends – not only the friends you choose but their friends can see what you post too. Do you trust all 500 of your “friends’” friends?
- Everything you do on social media is leaving footprints and developing your future reputation. Will your potential future employers hire you if they see what you post today?
- What to do if you are sent something you shouldn’t have? Delete it and report it!
Members of the audience were used to bring serious matters of cyber safety to light. Deputy Silva demonstrated how the context of a situation including the tone, surrounding event, and emotions of another person are obvious when you are “in person” as she stood awkwardly close to Kenneth Carson. However, over text or social media those context clues are not there, and the true meaning behind the message is often misinterpreted. Lucas Vaughan was an actor in a mock fight to show what is legal and illegal about physical altercations, especially as minors.
Finally, video and storytelling were key parts of Deputy Silva’s presentation as she shared her experience and knowledge from the field of how social media and texting has affected teenagers, especially in the Bay Area and California.