Knox County Sheriff works to keep kids safe online during the summer

facebook+pic11KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — With kids out of school for the summer, chances are they’ll have more free time and spend more time online.

But hanging out on the Internet could open them up to a social media world that keeps getting more dangerous.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office held a class Saturday morning to teach kids and parents how to stay safe.

Angie Daniels, with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, says strangers are getting easier to meet since more and more social media apps and games have a chat feature.

“And a lot of times, the conversations are innocent, they’re just making friends that may have similar interest in them,” she says.

But the problem is, you don’t know who you’re really talking to. And it’s possible your new friend might not have such innocent intentions.

Friday night in Knoxville, THP busted a man for sex trafficking after they allegedly found him with a 19-year-old girl.

“They’re trying to gain the child’s trust, and they take their time doing it. Next thing you know the child feels like that’s the one person in the world they can trust, and they end up running away,” Daniels says.

While it’s important for parents to monitor what your kids do online, Daniels says it’s best to make sure kids understand the dangers the internet can pose.

Robin Delph, a grandmother, showed up to the class to try and stay on top of the changes in social media.

“[My grandkids] are on it a lot. And they can go a lot of places that I can’t,” she says.

As a parent, Daniels says you can never be too careful.

“You can still find out things, through maybe a picture of their school uniform, or their softball uniform or that sort of thing. A predator can find out so much information about a child,” she says.