Keeping You Safe: Protecting children from online predators

How to keep them away from your children
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 12:44 PM EDT
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - In this week’s Keeping You Safe, we sat down with Conway police to talk about online child predators and how to keep them away from your children.

Police said it’s important to note that it has nothing to do with the types of apps children are using.

“It’s definitely a huge issue and it does happens a lot,” Conway Police Det. Allan Huggins said.

According to Huggins, the people hiding behind the screen target children 24 hours a day and usually aren’t strangers at all.

“They’re just people that may have happened by chance came into their life and know the children personally or know their family personally, and know how to exploit that,” he said.

Huggins added the number of apps or what they are doesn’t matter because the trends always change. Instead, it’s important to set boundaries for those apps from the start.

Other tips include:

-Keeping accounts private. If your child doesn’t know the person, they don’t add them.

-Don’t tag locations. Generalize pictures to not include things that are easily recognizable

-Follow user restrictions and requirements

-Know the passwords

Most of all, Huggins said open communication is key.

“They’re going to figure out a way to circumvent the system and they’re going to be empowered by your distrust, I believe. So, if you’re giving them the trust upfront and setting those expectations and they know and they have access to them, you’re going to find a lot better success,” he said. “They need the protectors because they can’t protect themselves and it’s an important mission of ours to make sure that we provide those services to them.”

For more tips or classes on how to better protect your children while they’re online, contact the Conway Police Department at (843) 248-1790 or click here

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