NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The FBI Cyber Crimes Unit in Nashville says parents need to remain vigilant and involved with their kids on social media.
The call for protection was back at the forefront after a 24-year-old man was arrested on Sunday for posing as a teen on Snapchat and allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl.
FBI Special Agent Matthew Regis Billings says predators are becoming more sophisticated about how they target children.
“If they’re meeting the kids online on one platform, we actually see they trying to get the kids, herd them over if you will to platforms like Snapchat or KIK and it’s just because they’re a lot more difficult to monitor, they chats go away after a certain time,” Billings said.
Billings recommends a number of ways for parents to monitor their kids on social media and video gaming devices.
“Most games, most social media platforms can have it restricted in some way where the users are only communicating with friends or an approved user list,” Billings said.
Billings said having the passwords to each app is a good idea, or asking to see phones or chats is another option.
“So what I’ve done with my kids is I’ve locked down the play store. We have Android devices and so they have to input a code to even get new applications. I’ve talked to them before and they know there’s certain things they’re not allowed to use and I disallow them from actually having those on their phones,” Billings said.
But the most important thing, is having a conversation with your kids about the dangers of talking to unknown users.