Amanda Todd’s mother is using her daughter’s tragic story to warn parents to update old "stranger danger" lessons and focus on social media interactions.
"There’s a piece missing where we forget to educate our kids about strangers on the Internet," Carol Todd told HuffPost Live on Wednesday in a segment about parents keeping up with their kids' media use.
Todd’s daughter, Amanda, uploaded a heart-wrenching video about being bullied online in September 2012. A month later, she killed herself. Todd's story has been shared and debated around the world.
After being severely bullied and changing schools, Amanda felt alienated and began to seek friends elsewhere.
"She suffered from anxiety. She wanted friends; she found them online," Todd said.
One of Amanda’s supposed online friends eventually blackmailed her with nude photos, a cautionary tale Todd used to remind parents to teach kids that social posts and file shares cannot be taken back.
"Once it’s out there, it leaves a digital footprint and you can never get it off," said Todd.
She also stressed that kids and teens should never feel like they're alone whenever they're in trouble; ideally they should always have a trusted adult to talk to.
"They shouldn’t ever feel if they’ve done something wrong, it should be hidden, because that’s when the problems start to happen,” she said.
The mother and daughter had a transparent relationship when it came to Amanda's avid use of Facebook: Carol had access to her login and passwords.
Two funds have been set up in Amanda Todd's name to support her legacy as well as the anti-bullying issues.