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Internet and smartphone safety vital to teens

<p>The Better Safe Than Sorry Crew &amp;#8212; Rebecca Aguilera, Sarah Eubank, and Rachel Williams have made presentations at schools all over Central Arkansas on Internet safety.</p><p>Submitted photo</p>

The Better Safe Than Sorry Crew &#8212; Rebecca Aguilera, Sarah Eubank, and Rachel Williams have made presentations at schools all over Central Arkansas on Internet safety.

Submitted photo

Three teenage girls with a goal — Rebecca Aguilera, Sarah Eubank, and Rachel Williams — say they are determined to make a change. Social networking is a part of the everyday lives of many people and these girls have chosen to make sure that students in Central Arkansas are taking precautions when on the Internet.

Rebecca Aguilera started this program in October 2011 to talk to classrooms of students about what’s most popular on the Internet and how to be safe. As the program grew, she decided to add Sarah Eubank and Rachel Williams. Together they call themselves the “Better Safe Than Sorry Crew.”

The program focuses on making sure students from 4th grade to 8th grade know what they are doing on the Internet and what the consequences could be for posting personal information on social networks.

They have traveled to more than 15 schools and plan to keep going. Rebecca says, “It’s amazing to me how many 4th and 5th graders have social networks when they don’t even know what they are doing on there.”

The five main rules for being safe on the Internet that the Better Safe Than Sorry Crew say are:

• Never give out your address to anyone or post it anywhere on your account.

•Make sure you and your parents are the ONLY ones who know your password.

•Never post your personal or home phone numbers on your profile.

• Make sure your settings are to friends ONLY.

• What you post on the Internet should reflect on who you are in person.

In their presentation they talk different social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Not only do they teach the students how to sign up, but also show examples of what should be on an Internet profile.

On Facebook:

• There are one billion monthly active users.

• The average user has 130 friends and likes 80 pages.

• Forty-eight percent of young Americans said that they find out the latest news through Facebook.

In the presentation Sarah tells young people that she found out that Barack Obama won his second term through Facebook.

On Twitter:

• There are 175 million monthly active users.

• Fifty-five percent of users log into twitter using their phone.

• Forty percent of “tweeters” don’t tweet every month, but they watch others are tweeting.

• One billion tweets are posted per week.

• There are 350 million tweets per day.

Rebecca tells students that her mother and father have a twitter but all they do on it is watch what she is tweeting. She says her father will update her on what her friends have tweeted three hours before many times. As stressful and annoying as she says it can be Rebecca says, “I’m glad my Dad actually knows how to use Twitter.”

On Pinterest:

• There are 140 million monthly active users.

• Seventy percent of the users are female.

On Instagram:

• There are 90 million monthly active users.

• Forty million pictures are posted a day.

• There are 8,500 pictures liked and 1,000 comments posted per second.

Rachel Williams told students that she often plans her outfits off of items that she sees on Pinterest.

The Better Safe Than Sorry Crew plans to keep traveling around Central Arkansas and beyond. Those interested in having the Better Safe Than Sorry Crew come to their school, youth group or business meeting can send an email to Becca0397@aol.com. Also the group invites people to “like” them on Facebook “Better Safe Than Sorry”

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