Experts Warn Online Communication Should Be Used With Caution - WSPA.com

Experts Warn Online Communication Should Be Used With Caution

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A judge denied bond for Darrell Raines Jr Friday. Raines is charged with murder in the death of Myranda Southern. Deputies said he shot her in the back of the neck.

Her body was found in a Lauren's County field last week but it took until Thursday to identify her remains. Friends of Southern tell us she met Raines online. Southern’s friends and family are devastated and said her story should serve as a warning to others who are logging on.

Experts told 7 On Your it’s important to learn the do’s and don’ts of online communication.

It's a scary thought as more people begin to use technology to communicate and meet. 7 On Your Side spoke with Elizabeth Burden who uses online dating frequently. She offered some advice saying it can be easy to feel like you know someone very well after just a few chat sessions but she said she’s also cautious.

Burden said she uses the block button when a user makes her uncomfortable and it’s important to be able to stop contact immediately.

She also said you should do your research when you meet someone new. Check for other profiles or pages with the persons name to see if pictures or information matches up.

“a lot of times there are guys that are like hey lets meet when you have only just met them so you just request that you get to know the person a little better,” said Burden.

Experts tell 7 On Your Side to keep personal information private and never expect that giving your cell number out or picture or address when you sign up, means it’s for your eyes only.

Double check your privacy settings frequently as well experts said. These lessons are covered in a class at USC Upstate by Dean of Students Laura Puckett-Boler. Freshman are taught a class in their University 101 classes and Boler find pictures and information about the students and posts it in a slide show.

“It’s easy for me to plug their name in and find photographs, things they've said, sometimes just that knowledge that if the Dean of Students can find it, anyone can.

Boler said if you decided to see someone you've met online in person do so in a public place and bring a friend.

Boler said if you're feeling uncomfortable, report the user but don't delete the comment because it could be helpful later.

“Send them a message that says please don't text me again because that shows you have asked them not to. It will help if you need a restraining order and when you get support from law enforcement. It shows you weren't in a situation where there wasn’t consent,” said Boler.

Her students said it’s a great reminder to be careful.

Sandy Zang, a student at USC Upstate said she knows many young social media users who provide any information when asked. This she said is a good lesson especially for new users.

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