MACON, Ga. — According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, social media platforms are appealing to predators, because they give them easy access to pictures and personal information.
However, there are ways you can protect yourself online.
Dr. Johnathan Yerby is a professor for cyber security at Middle Georgia State University. He says, "Anything you want to do, you can take any of these photos."
The internet is a permanent home for a picture. He says, "You can hit delete, but you don't know who's downloaded it since it's been up," says Yerby.
Sometimes, pictures and online information get into the hands of a predator.
Yerby says it's almost impossible to keep yourself 100 percent safe, "Other than being completely absent from all social media, which, in today's world, is difficult for most people to do."
With today's technology, social media posts can be downloaded and altered within seconds.
"It's pretty simple to just go to somebody's profile, grab their photo, and then take the pieces of it that you want -- maybe pictures of someone's body or pictures of someone's face, and then use Photoshop -- all pretty easy to do," says Yerby.
Yerby recommends parents keep an eye on their kids' online world.
He says, "Monitoring is key, knowing good cyber-hygiene, good practices of what you're posting, knowing that once you post something, it's likely that it'll be out there forever."
The FBI recommends using privacy settings and restricting access to random users, but mostly importantly, think before you post.
If you're a parent of a child that uses social media, the FBI says it's a good idea to stay educated on the social media platforms your kids use.
It helps you understand how they work, and their potential dangers.
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