GOLDEN - Jefferson County has received several complaints from teens concerned about their privacy on social networking sites such as Instagram.
Complaints made by teens to the First Judicial District Attorney's Child Sex Offender Internet Investigations Unit concern the issue of strangers making inappropriate and unsuitable comments, some being sexual or graphic in nature and directed towards the young user.
"Consider the personal information you are posting online," District Attorney Pete Weir said. "This information, as well as photos, becomes public for anyone to see."
Instagram allows users to take a photo and then edit that photo using a digital filter. These photos are then shared across a variety of social networking services including Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is popular among those who use iPods, iPads, iPhones and Android phones.
As with most social media networking sites, Instragram asks for a username when signing up. Many times teenagers are using their real first and last name. The option to enter a phone number is also a part of the sign up process, and some teenagers provide their cell phone number. This information is public to anyone who uses Instagram.
Jefferson County officials urge teen not communicate directly or indirectly with anyone you don't know face-to-face. They also advise teen to set privacy settings to prevent strangers from viewing your information. Parents should also be active in their child's online activity.
According to CNET, as of July 2012, Instagram has more than 80 million users.
Hannah Glennon contributed to this report
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