Younger kids vulnerable to social media predators
Fake facebook accounts
Fake Facebook Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A warning for parents who have kids and teens with electronic devices. Because the devices are so popular, more and more teens are falling prey to internet predators. These days kids of all ages have the devices. What they also have is access to a ton of internet dangers. Most parents will tell you they can barely keep up with their kids’ technology.
School resource officer Dave Gomez wants parents to know that when it comes to social media the same is true.
“Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumbler; all of these social media that are just beginning, the kids already know about and the parents don't,” said Officer Dave Gomez.
He says parents need to first educate themselves about what’s already available. That way, when you give your kid a new piece of technology, they know how to safely use it.
You can try to delete their apps, but kids can upload a new social media app, in the time it takes to read this story.
“Sixth graders are just getting into Facebook, seventh graders already have a lot of Facebook,” said Gomez.
We're talking about middle school kids, not high school. These kids are anywhere from 11 to 13 years old.
“I see a lot of the seventh graders in middle school that have you know, that have anywhere from 100 friends to 1300 friends. There’s no way they know all those friends.
Even though Facebook requires users to be at least 13 years old to set up an account, kids always manage to find a way. So, who are the people those kids are talking to? Police say, in some cases they are internet predators and they are after your kids.
“Sometimes they just ask for pictures, they can ask for inappropriate pictures, they can ask to met the kids, and have the kids go somewhere with them,” said Gomez.
What can parents do? A few simple things.
“Parents should do a phone check, do a computer check and do an email check,” said Gomez.
Also, have a central place where your kids can plug in all of their electronic devices.
“That works very good, then parents can go check these devices and kids aren't staying up late at night, texting their friends emailing, making videos and doing whatever, instead of sleeping,” said Gomez.
Another idea that Officer Gomez likes, is having your teen explain all the apps on their phone and go through them with them. Finally, he didn't really like the idea of a contract with your teen. He says you as a parent make the rules.