Authorities warn parents to track more than just kids' Facebook - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Authorities warn parents to track more than just kids' Facebook accounts

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JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

Even if you are watching your teen's Facebook page, authorities say you still may not know much about what they are up to online.

"There is this false sense of anonymity on social media," said Tom Erickson with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

It's just one reason authorities believe kids might be clueless when it comes to posting pictures and other evidence of illegal activity on social media. From shot-taking to beer-bonging to pot-smoking, teens are taking their experiences and putting them out there for anyone and everyone to see.

"We've seen it with every segment of society - things that people post, photos that have led to prosecution or losing of jobs or getting kicked out of school," Erickson said.

It seems more and more photos and videos are popping up on social media sites showing the illegal behavior. In Johnson County, authorities have not yet arrested a juvenile based on a post, but believe it's only a matter of time.

Authorities have used social media to assist them in investigations.

Because social media is ever changing, parents oftentimes have a tough time keeping up.

"The youngest of the children are not joining Facebook, they are turning to Instagram, Snapchat, which is a different animal," Erickson said.

Parents say the ever-changing technology makes it hard to keep up.

"They are a lot smarter than I am about it and one reason I limit it is because I don't know much," said Jenifer Colligan.

Colligan watches closely what little social media interaction her children have. She like Amanda Ross both say they aren't worried about what their kids are doing, but what others around them are up to.

"That should be a concern and parents should be responsible and be in their kids' life," Ross said.

But authorities say it's clear not everyone is keeping up with their kids online and what they are missing might be unimaginable to mom and dad.

"Ten years ago, 15 to 20 years ago, long before social media, would it even be something you would think about to take a photo of themselves doing something illegal and taking it to the high school and posting it on the bulletin board? It's ridiculous, but that's what they are doing," Erickson said.

There's also another reason parents need to know about Snapchat. The social network was hacked, compromising 4.6 million names and phone numbers. The crooks behind the hack say it was all an attempt to expose the vulnerability of users' data.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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