Social Media Safety: Protecting Against Cyber Crime

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Kristen North is a working mom. She spends most of her day around books and wants her children to do the same.

“It’s an inexpensive way to get them off the computers and electronic devices,” she said.

During summer, it is hard to keep children off the internet—especially on rainy days. In a growing social media world, there is more to worry about than too much computer time—it's what's on the other side of the screen.

"Your 8-year-old or 12-year-old could be chit chatting with a 45, 50 year old,” said Captain Antonio Gonzalez with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.

More children are falling victim to cyber predators. Last month, Daleville police arrested James Brown for child solicitation. He allegedly arranged a meeting with a minor at a taco bell. His bait: social media.

“The age of technology is a dangerous place for people that aren't constantly watching and our kids are very trusting,” explained Gonzalez.

Local police have a team, specifically for these cases, called ICAC—Internet Crimes Against Children. They work with law enforcement agencies across the state to catch predators committing these crimes. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to keep their children safe.

"You hear the old adage that they have the right to their privacy and their own social life. Yes they do, but it's the parent's responsibility for the safeguarding of their children,” said Gonzalez.

Monitoring your child's internet activity is the surest way to steer clear of cyber crime. North said it sometimes caused friction in her house, but better safe than sorry.

“My daughter gets aggravated with me. She has a tablet and I constantly check it,” she said.

She uses technology as an incentive for her children to dive into more books.

One in seven children in the United States received a sexual solicitation online. There are outlets to help parents tackle this issue. For more information click on the link below or contact your local law enforcement.

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