Be aware when using technology

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The arrest of a local teenager this week on charges of distributing pornographic material via cell phone is a disturbing reminder that parents need to be aware of how much technology has changed.
The teenager, of course, is innocent until proven guilty, but just the idea of such a crime should make parents more vigilant about the devices their children use.
Technology now allows us to send photos, text messages and look up Web sites on our cell phones —and they are becoming just about ubiquitous for teenagers, even though most schools don’t allow them on campus.
Even young children —those who could be most at risk for dangerous materials— have cell phones now.
Teenagers who think it is cool to send racy photos or messages to boyfriends or girlfriends might not realize that they could be crossing the line into illegal territory.
And they also need to realize that even if they delete those materials, they are not gone. Technology allows us to retrieve them, whether they were in a text message or an email.
As they say, things live forever on the Internet.
Parents, please talk with your children about the dangers of technology. Monitor their cell phone and computer use.
We can’t keep them safe from everything, but we can certainly make it a lot harder for danger to reach them.