“The quicker you know of an issue, the quicker you can mitigate it,” said Sgt. Rich McKeon of the Glastonbury Police Department’s computer crime lab, as he spoke to parents at Gladstonbury High School about what teens are doing on the Internet and how they can intervene and possibly prevent bullying behavior.

McKeon said that at the basis of teen misbehavior is that young people make poor decisions and make mistakes, but it’s a part of growing up. “It’s part of their normal development. They’re kind of transitioning into abstract thinking,” he said, adding that teens post or text things as soon as they enter their minds, and the problem is that once something is on the Internet, it essentially exists forever.

McKeon said that teens post too much personal information on the Internet via sites like Facebook, including things that make identity theft easier, such as location and birth date, but they are also posting photos of themselves in swimsuits and other revealing outfits. “You’re starting to see what should be temporary consequences become permanent. You don’t want your kid to make that mistake that’s going to hurt them down the road.”

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