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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Preventing Exploitation with Cellphones


Smile for the cameras! Cameras are everywhere we look and go, in plain sight and hidden. Additionally, almost every cell phone is equipped with a camera and most have the ability to record live video. What does this mean for our personal safety and the safety of our children?

This means we need to be vigilant about our surroundings at all times. Cameras should not be out in places where we can expect a reasonable amount of privacy. For instance, in locker rooms, rest rooms, changing rooms, or other places people may change or try on clothing.

Be alert when in dressing rooms for any movement from below or above. Many cell phone cameras have a blinking light to indicate the phone is in camera mode; however, that light quickly becomes invisible when one covers the area with a small piece of electrical tape.

We must be aware of our surroundings at all times. These cameras and video recorders can be used not only to exploit children, but to also to capture personal information. Think about the next time you are checking out. A video recorder can easily record your credit card number, your name and any additional information provided verbally. Most personal checks have our name and home address.

Look around you when you are checking out. Shield your card number and use your body to block when asked to use a pin in an ATM or during checkout. Identity thieves need your name, address, and the last four digits of your social security number to steal your identity.

Walgreens is a large chain of stores across the United States yet every time someone picks up a prescription, they request you to verify your address. If you are at the drive through and there is another car present they hear everything that transpires, so do the people in the store if you check out inside. Provide your street name, but never the house number. In addition, if talking on your cell phone out in public do not share any personal or family information you would not tell a perfect stranger, as you never know who is listening.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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