Photo & Chat Apps Can Make Children Easy Targets

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's not enough to tell your kids about the dangers that loom online. Pictures and texts sent online could last forever. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports. (Published Monday, Jan 28, 2013)

    Online apps are making it easier than ever for people to sext. The new dangers for children are in social networking apps that they can download to their phones, meet strangers and begin chatting. Law enforcement sources Haddonfield police are investigating the swapping of explicit photos between a minor and an unknown person, using the app, Kik.

    Abby Leeds, the Executive Director of Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project, is a former prosecutor. She says apps that allow people to swap photos and chat with anyone who shares a common interest make it easier for predators to target children.

    "It's very easy for people to get in there and strike up a conversation with a kid who doesn't have a large social network," Leeds said, explaining that the children who don't have a large number of friends in their social circles may be easier to target.

    Leeds says Internet crimes against kids and teens are on the rise. She says parents need to have passwords for their children's wireless devices, they need to check their child's chat history and if needed confiscate their devices and block apps that you don't want your kids to use. You can also disable camera features.

     


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