Experts said now is the time for parents and their kids to take the dangers of social media seriously. The number of crimes against minors and young adults involving social media is growing, and it’s a nationwide problem that’s hitting our communities.
According to the Guardchild.com, the number of sexual assault cases related to social media sites has increased by 300 percent. Social media is used to start a relationship 50 percent of all sex crimes against minors involving the internet. 55 percent of teens have given out personal information and photos to strangers, and 67 percent of teens say they know how to hide what they do online from their parents.
“In today’s society, a lot of people meet over social media, over text messages. They never meet face to face. Anybody can be whoever they want to be on the other side of the cell phone. You don’t know who exactly you’re talking to,” Sergeant Matthew Plummer from hte Altoona Police Department said,
So, what can you do to keep your children safe?
Bill Latchford, a computer technician at Penn State, said parents should have open and honest conversations with their children about the dangers of social media.
“I would really suggest to parents that they, just pay attention to what their kids are doing online. Look at the phones. You’re paying the bill. Know what your child has on their phone,” Latchford said.
And as technology continues to change, the threats to our youth stay the same.
“The social media threats have probably evolved immensely, but the threat is still out there against our children. The predators are still there, and they’re still looking for the same thing,” Latchford said.