Kids are more tech-savvy than ever and there are also more tech dangers than ever before. Even if you think you are taking the right steps to keep your kids safe, we’ve found if they are online there probably is a way predators can get to your kids.
Houston woman on a mission
The internet is a huge way sex traffickers target women and children. Human-trafficking advocate Jaquelyn Alutto has a passion for helping women and children. She created a company called Real Beauty Real Women – a place where beauty and activism meet social responsibility. While creating a well-known platform that stands up for women and children, Jacquelyn has also worked on changing legislation for sex trafficking.
How are predators targeting your kids?
Did you know, the average age of trafficking victims is 12 years old?
We teach our kids not to talk to strangers and you might even set restrictions on devices. This often isn’t enough.
“People think this can never happen and it can happen to anybody,” said Alutto.
Alutto explained how internet predators “groom” kids.
“If I’m a boy and I’m playing Fortnite and I don’t have the money in the game to buy the things that I need, a lot of times predators will come in and pretend they are other children and they will say, ‘Hey, we will send you money but take a picture of yourself,’” Alutto said.
These online predators slowly get to know kids and make them feel like they are friends and they can be trusted.
“The biggest thing about predators is they learn what your vulnerabilities are,” Alutto said. “If I’m a boy or a girl, and I’m on the internet and my parents are getting a divorce, my grandma just died, I’m getting bullied at school, I feel fat, a predator’s job is to study and learn what that is. They learn what the vulnerabilities are and they contact the person.”
So while you may tell your kids not to “friend” strangers on social media, they often think they are “friending” someone they know.
How can you keep your kids safe?
Alutto suggested that parents conduct a daily check of their child’s devices, including inboxes and sent messages on social media accounts.
KPRC 2 Investigates reporter Bill Spencer talked to a family that has experienced the danger first-hand. On Nov. 20 on KPRC 2 News at 6 p.m., you’ll hear from one mom about how her daughter was nearly kidnapped after befriending someone on a popular social media site. You will also hear from another family about the daily safeguards they take to keep their kids safe. And, Alutto will explain other things you can do right now to help keep your kids safe.
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