Virginia Youth Programs trains teens on “Safe Social Networking”

Keith Dunn of KDCOP teaches teens of Virginia National Guard families safe social networking skills during a presentation hosted by the Virginia Guard Youth Programs. The teens learned proper internet etiquette as well as how to protect themselves from online predators. (Contributed photo)

The Virginia National Guard Youth Program continued their Teen Leadership Training series by providing training on “Safe Social Networking” to 32 Guard family teens at the G-Force Karts in Richmond, Va. on February 24 and the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg on March 24. Special guest Keith Dunn, a former Airman and founder of the KDCOP Foundation, presented the two events to the children of Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

“It was a great honor to collaborate with Keith Dunn and his organization of KDCOP,” said Drew Davis, state youth program specialist. “He is a front-runner in the movement for a safer Internet.”

Dunn spoke to the teens about protecting themselves on Facebook, cyber-bullying, peer pressure and appropriate cell phone habits. He also spoke about the potential dangers that lurk in cyberspace as well as conducted activities on positive interaction with peers at school and at home.

“This was important because of the growing technology and ways that young people connect with each other,” said Davis. “They need to be aware of the dangers that these popular social networking sites may have.

“Safety is a priority for the Youth Program and we find different topics every year that are applicable to the teens within the program. “

According to the KDCOP website, Dunn has been warning and training parents, teachers, law enforcement and other community organizations nationwide about online dangers since 1999. KDCOP has worked closely with federal, state and local law enforcement as well as public and private investigative teams along the East Coast.

“Keith did a great job opening the eyes of the participants and making them more alert to cyber bullying and how to become an advocate to put a stop to this growing topic that affects teens and youths on a daily basis,” Davis said.

The KDCOP Foundation, a New Jersey nonprofit corporation, was created to provide little or no cost cyber safe assemblies to schools in order to keep their students safe in the digital world. The foundation develops cyber safety curriculum and then executes a dynamic, interactive and educational school assembly.