MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s never been easier to upload a video to the Internet. There’s YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo just to name a few options. Now, Instagram has joined the community as did Twitter with Vine.

“The bottom line is it’s a new hot thing that’s out there that the kids are going to be interested in,” said Karina Berzins, the training and Internet coordinator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions Crimes Against Children Taskforce.

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According to the web site marketingland.com, in mid-June almost 3,000,000 videos were shared in one day through Vine. Those numbers have steadily declined since Instagram jumped into the game on June 20.

A decade ago parents only needed to monitor a desktop computer that was usually stationed in a living room or den, now it’s smartphones.

“Now that desktop computer is in your hands,” Berzins said.

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The BCA is telling parents with the release of these new apps it’s a perfect time to talk to their children about what they’re uploading online, especially since its summer break.

“Now that they’re not in school, they have a lot more free time to use all these different technologies,” Berzins said.

She fears children could be oversharing and warns parents that criminals could use the new apps to prey on children.

When Berzins talks to parents about video sharing, she says they need to realize their child’s phone is really their responsibility.
They should monitor all their photos, videos, apps and texts. She also says talking about sharing with children and teens should be a daily conversation. She recommends approaching the subject like playing a “what if game”.

“What would you do if someone you don’t know asks you to be friends on Facebook?” said Berzins, as an example.

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Berzins does say if you do decide to share a video you might want to follow this rule: “What information would you be OK with seeing on a billboard on the side of a highway?”