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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Dec 13

Social Media Safety

Posted on December 13, 2016 at 8:14 AM by Communications Department

The Newport News Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is frequently tasked with responding to incidents involving Social Media among kids, teens and adults. Social networks involve a lot of sharing of photos, videos, links, and personal information. Many kids and teens enjoy sharing these things with their friends, but they may actually be sharing information socialmedia1_SCwith more people than they realize. The following tips, published by, are a good reminder for a very real challenge of living in a culture of social media.

 • Keep posts private. On most social networking sites, you can choose to only share things with your friends. It's important to use this setting whenever possible because it makes it more difficult for people you don't know to gain access to your information.

• Check privacy settings frequently. Facebook sometimes reorganizes its privacy and account settings, which can cause your information to be shared with more people than you want. With Facebook or any other social networking site, you should review your privacy settings to make sure they are set the way you want them to be.

• Be careful what you share. Even if you're keeping posts private, it doesn't guarantee that other people won't be able to see it. For example, if you share a photo with your friends, they can easily save it to their computers and post it to another website. You shouldn't post something online unless you're comfortable with everyone in the world seeing it. Compromising photographs can never be removed from the internet once shared.
• Don't add strangers to your friends list. Although it may be tempting to have thousands of "friends" online, this increases the chances that your photos and personal information will be shared with the world.

• Things you post online may stay there for years. Even if something doesn't seem embarrassing, it may damage your reputation years later. Employers and colleges often check social networking sites for information on candidates, so a photo or other post could lower their impression of you. For more information, read Social Media Privacy Basics lesson from the Internet Safety tutorial.