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Exploring the dark side of social media

Union Leader Correspondent

December 05. 2013 11:12PM

DERRY — Officer Jennifer Frank, a national authority on the pitfalls and perils of social media, spoke to parents and students during a presentation Wednesday at Pinkerton Academy.Frank, of the Plymouth State University Police Department, gave a lecture on "The Many Faces of Facebook." Frank also addressed the good and bad of other social media.

Taking some time to answer a few questions before a presentation in the school's Academy Building, Frank went over some of the techniques she uses to help improve internet safety.

Guiding parents through the intricacies of the Internet while keeping children safe is her main goal, Frank said.

Children today generally know gaming and other technology better than their parents, she said, adding that parents often turn to their children to fix a problem while online. But on the other hand, the parents really know best about safety, Frank said.

"The key is to integrate those two together," she said.

"When you have a population that doesn't know how to turn it on, how do you keep your kids safe?" she said. "That's what we are looking at."

Also during the presentation, she teaches what should and shouldn't be posted online.

For instance, simply by providing a phone number the information can be put into different sites that can reveal someone's address. Frank goes over some of the special sites during the presentation.

Once an address is obtained, it can be put into Google Street View, which will provide a picture of the person's house. From there, someone with the information can go to Facebook and check to see whether the person did a mobile upload, for instance, from a Bruins' game.

"That means you're not at your home, which is a great time to commit a burglary," she said.

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