WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — As millions of Florida students are on summer break, children may be spending more time online.
Predators know this, and state leaders say they use social media and chat rooms to target the most vulnerable.
A new educational tool is out now for parents to help keep their kids from interacting with these dangerous criminals.
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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced on Monday the following tips to guardians. It’s part of the state’s Idle Time: A Summer Safety Series
- Establish clear rules and boundaries regarding internet usage—whether that is limiting accessible sites, apps and social media platforms or setting time limits for online activities;
- Monitor a child’s online activity and be aware of friends and contacts they may have;
- Teach children about the importance and consequences of safeguarding personal information online; and
- Warn children about talking to or meeting up with strangers from the internet.
“Don’t give where your location is, don’t give your name, your birthday or address,” one parent in West Palm Beach told CBS12 News.
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According to Moody, even human traffickers recruit more than half of the victims online, typically through social media platforms and online chat rooms. The median age of a child being contacted is 15. Predators targeted more than 3,000 minors in sextortion cases last year alone, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The state released a list of apps that pose a risk to children. Those apps include Meet Me, Discord and Whisper.