COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Law enforcement officials say keeping your kids safe means safeguarding your computer.
Over the weekend two Collier girls were found in Kentucky after an amber alert. 14 year old Megan Morris and 15 year old Tatiana Rosado vanished Saturday afternoon after they went to walk Rosado's dog.
Police found them during a traffic stop in Paducah, Kentucky. Officials say they were with 22 year old Ivan Coleman. Police say Rosado met him online more than a year ago.
Law enforcement officials say knowing what your kids are looking at and who they are talking to online is the key to keeping them safe.
According to a officials, one in five children is sexually solicited online and prevention starts with parents. Sgt. Ken Baker says, "parents are a key role in any type of safety to their child, but parents need to realize that 60 percent of the time their child is online its somewhere other than in their house."
In 2007, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart launched the Protecting Families Online initiative to education kids and parents about online predators. At a forum last month in Collier County Diaz Blalart said, "don't assume. Your child may think that the person they're communicating with is a child their age, don't assume it's a child their age, it could be an adult posing as a child, again a predator posing as a child with explicit intent to one day make contact with your children."
Some red flags to look for:
- Is your child online large amounts of time at night?
- Are they becoming withdrawn?
- Have you found pornography on their computer?
- Do they quickly close their computer when you walk in the room?
Some tips to help keep your kids safe from online predators:
- Communicate with your kids
- Remind them to only talk to people that they know
- Let them know that people online can lie and aren't always who they say they are
- Tell them to never meet anyone in person who they meet online
- Monitor their list of friends
- Keep their computer in a common room
- Encourage them to speak up if someone online makes them feel uncomfortable