by Krystal Paco
Guam - From cyberbullying, sexting, online child sex exploitation or just too much information online, Cyber Safety Pasifika launched earlier this week educating the island's schoolchildren on what's appropriate online behavior.
John F. Kennedy High School seniors Dylan Sarmiento and Angelica Santos are active social media users. Surfing the web daily from home computers, personal laptops, and their smartphones to connect with their friends and family. And although neither have bulled or been cyberbullied, they admit it's ongoing at their Upper Tumon campus. "I know somebody it actually happened here at school, where they would should other people pictures of somebody and it was spread around the entire campus," said Sarmiento.
Santos reported the incident to her teacher who relayed it to the student support office to take action. This was the right thing to do according to Cyber Safety Pasifika's Melissa Sevil, who reached out to over 1,200 Guam students on how to use social media sites properly.
"The first thing with your Facebook account is to make sure is that it's set to friends only. That way, you've got more control on who sees your information and sees your photos. The second thing is to really be careful with who it is you add as a contact, because if you don't know them and you don't trust them. They could be pretending they're someone they're not or they could be using your information for malicious purposes."
Sevil says parents also need to talk with their children on what's appropriate to share online, saying, "The most important thing for parents is really to keep an open dialogue to realize that just because it's not something they've grown up with it doesn't mean that it's not something they can't help educate their children on, so talking about the issues talking about the safety concerns and also talking about the positive uses."
Parents, always ask. "Can I kick my child off Facebook? Which really indicates they're not really comfortable with the technology itself but often questions are around what is it I can do to report things that go wrong," she said.
If your Facebook account gets hacked or other things go wrong online, Sevil advises you contact the social media site as well as inform your friends and family your profile has been compromised. If you lost money or your identity stolen, contact local police.
For more information visit CyberSafetyPasifika.org.