Police warn of dangers of social media - WNEM TV 5

Police warn of dangers of social media

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Snapchat and Instagram are just a few of the mobile applications meant for picture and video sharing, but are a common issue for law enforcement.

While some students look to social media for fun and games, some of their actions can cross the line - landing them in trouble with the law.

"To phone in or use a computer - any kind of telecommunications device - to make a false bomb threat or a threat or violence or anything like that, starts off at a minimum four year felony," Michigan State Police Trooper Steven Kramer said.

Police are seeing more threats, cyberbullying and sexting over social media.

"Simply using the computer to commit a felony, depending on the degree of the felony, ranges from a two and 20 year felony. Just for using the computer to commit a felony in the first place," Kramer said.

A computer crime includes anything that connects online like a smartphone or tablet.

Dawn Hibbard, communications specialist at Mott Community College, said a key mistake many young people make is not understanding the public nature of social media.

"You feel like you're talking to your friends. You feel like you're in the privacy of your own home or you're using your own phone," Hibbard said. "If you wouldn't say it to your grandmother or show it to your minister, don't put it on your social media."

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