Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How Important Is It To Post That Photo? Stacey Honowitz Shares What You Need To Know Now

OK~ We recently had some discussion on my All In An Iowa Mom's Day Facebook Page in regards to photos of children taken by their parents while potty training them. I personally feel there is no need for this anywhere on the internet. It was obvious that this is a topic that parents are passionate about. Most parents thought that it was a no/no, but there were several that thought it was OK to do. I hope you will think twice before you post that next photo online, as I know I will.

The last two years I have worked with several of the folks that have presented at the Community Empowerment Series in St. Augustine, Florida. Let me tell you, this is one lucky community. They get the "best of the best" for one whole day! Tips on being smarter and safer when it comes to being online. Michele Borba, an expert on bullying, is pictured here with Stacey Honowitz.

Michele Borba and Stacey Honowitz: Community Empowerment Series 2014- St. Augustine, Florida

I have met Stacey Honowitz and am deeply passionate about the work she is doing in the state of Florida when it comes to keeping kids safe online and everywhere. I invited Stacey to share some eye opening information with you. I realize some of you may be aware of where your pictures go when posted online, but I have a feeling that many of us could use a friendly reminder.
As a Supervisor in the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit of the State Attorney's Office, I have been asked to discuss the impact that social media has when posting certain information. The first tidbit of information that I would like you to know is that once the information is "posted" or "tweeted" it no longer belongs to you.  All those adorable pictures of your kids, dog, you, your home etc is now fair game for anyone to see and use. What we long believed was personal and special to us and whomever we chose to share it with is now fair game and free to the rest of cyber and criminal world.

We turn on the tv, open the newspapers, and listen on the radio to cases involving sexual predators. There is always legislation being bantered around with regard to sex crimes, sentences, and registration. What people fail to talk about is that the internet and especially social media sites have become a haven for predators and sex offenders. Trolling is common place for these people, because now they can seek out their victims on line. They are not visible, and for these individuals its a better way to operate.. This is like open season for them and allows them to go to work. People have become masters at being able to photo shop, and cut and paste. We have seen cases where photos of kids are put on the bodies of adults, and placed into situations that nobody would believe. 
In today's society we need to be smart, and one step ahead. Remember that people, especially ones that are master manipulators like sex offenders are usually computer gurus. Older children must be taught about "chatting with nefarious individuals, and parents who post pictures of their kids must know that they are sharing not just with friends, but the whole world." Be safe, use good judgment, and if need be, keep those photos that are so special to yourself.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on keeping your family safe online. Is this something you think about, or is it something that kind of gets tossed to the wayside. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

More about Stacey: 

Stacey Honowitz is a twenty-two year veteran of the State Attorney's Office, seventeen years dedicated to the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit where she is currently serving as a supervisor. She is also a frequent legal commentator who has provided legal analysis for Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, CBS News 48 Hours, MSNBC, CNBC, as well as Fox News and Court Television. She has prosecuted several high profile cases in south Florida and is also a guest lecturer who speaks about child sex abuse, the sensitive nature of these cases, the navigation of the criminal justice system and the importance of frank and open communication with children about this important and difficult subject matter.

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