Protecting Online Privacy Hot Topic At Area Conference

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Protecting yourself and your family's privacy in the age of social media is a hot topic this week in Huntsville.

Authorities say there's been far too much carelessness and unawareness of online privacy risks recently, especially among young people who sometimes experience devastating consequences. Speakers at this week's National Child Abuse Symposium at the Von Braun Center are stressing the importance of privacy safeguards.

National Crime Victim Law Institute Executive Director Meg Garvin is a featured speaker at this week's conference. Garvin told WHNT News 19 that parents need to constantly stay on top of ever-changing privacy settings, while also making sure their child's settings are on the strictest level.

"One of the tips we always give is 'Would this be something you would want grandma to see," said Garvin. "Put it on if you want grandma to see, don't put it on if you don't want grandma to see."

Garvin also said there are tools to protect social media users who may have been careless online.

"To victims of crime, privacy is like oxygen," said Garvin. "Victims of crimes have rights to privacy that can legally be protected, so if they feel like their privacy has been comprised, they should consult an attorney because they have legal grounds to protect their privacy, even in a criminal case."

The National Child Abuse Symposium runs through Thursday at the Von Braun Center. This is the 29th year the conference has been held.