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Lakeview Academy to host Internet forum
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Straight Talk About Internet Safety
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Lakeview Academy, 796 Lakeview Drive NE, Gainesville
How much: Free

When it comes to Internet safety, many parents occasionally turn a cautious eye to their child’s computer and think that’s enough — wrong.

To help parents learn how to better keep their kids safe, Lakeview Academy is planning to host its yearly Straight Talk About Internet Safety presentation.

“We’ve been doing this for about six years, but trends and devices that children are using have changed so much in that time period,” said Connie White, academy technology and media director. “The number of hours that a child spends online is really surprising.”

And it’s not just computers that are linked to the Internet. Today, people can surf the Web through cell phones and even popular gaming systems like the Wii and Xbox 360.

“Everything is so connected now, and parents may not be aware of that. So we want to help give parents the tools and resources they need to protect their children,” White said. “Technology isn’t going away, so this is a matter of awareness for parents.”

The free presentation will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in the school’s student center. Some of the topics include cyberbullying, Internet profile information and sexting, using cell phones to send provocative photos.

The presentation also will include a parent panel where group members will share about issues they’ve encountered, how they resolved them and ways they could have improved how the situation was handled.

“This presentation will be different from the others because we will have the latest information available — we’ve really been doing a lot of research. We want to help parents know what to do before they are faced with certain issues,” White said.

“We’ve been conducting these presentations because what happens to one child could happen to many more, so it is important that we come together as a community to raise our children.”

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