Keeping Kids Safe From Internet Predators

INV Kathy Hollis with the Tallahassee Police Department might not look like a 13-year-old girl, but more than once she's been mistaken as one online.

INV Hollis says, "Parents will move to nice neighborhoods with fences to try and keep their kids safe, but sometimes they forget about the dangers of the Internet."

Hollis investigates and more than once has captured online predators, adults looking to make physical contact with young children.

Police estimate that through their online activities, one in four children has received unwanted pornography, one in five has been sexually solicited, and one in 17 was threatened or harassed.

"Parents need to educate themselves about the Internet. Have the children know if they are involved in any offensive chat or get dangerous e-mail," Kathy says.

SGT Bill Dawson with the Leon County Sheriff's Office adds, "The number one thing is to monitor the kids. The computer should be in a highly visible area and not in a room."

Police also recommend that parents and children should have an Internet use contract. It's understood what's ok and what's not. Also, never ever allow your child to meet someone in person anywhere.